Graham's beardtongue
Center for     Biological     Diversity   

Ruling Upholds Protection Proposal for Rare Wildflowers

Good news for two of the West's rarest wildflowers: A federal court has reinstated a proposal to grant Endangered Species Act protection to the White River beardtongue and the Graham's beardtongue, from Utah and Colorado -- both flowers seriously threatened by climate-destroying oil shale.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed protecting the plants, along with 76,000 acres of habitat, in 2013. A year later the agency -- after being lobbied by the oil industry and backers -- reversed course and rejected protections. The Center for Biological Diversity and allies sued.

Then, last week, a federal court spurned the Service's reliance on a toothless "conservation agreement" -- negotiated secretly with oil-industry reps -- to deny safeguards, ruling that the agency hadn't shown the agreement would better the beardtongues' "precarious" status.

Read more in The Salt Lake Tribune.

Avocet family at Malheur Wildlife Refuge

A Stunning, Dangerous Verdict After Oregon Standoff

Like almost everyone, we were stunned by last week's "not guilty" verdicts for the Bundy brothers and other defendants following the 41-day armed takeover of Oregon's Malheur National Wildlife Refuge earlier this year.

"This is an extremely disturbing verdict for anyone who cares about America's public lands, the rights of native people and their heritage, and a political system that refuses to be bullied by violence and racism," said Kierán Suckling, the Center's executive director. "The Bundy clan and their followers peddle a dangerous brand of radicalism aimed at taking over lands owned by all of us. I worry this verdict only emboldens the kind of intimidation and right-wing violence that underpins their movement."

Particularly galling was the juxtaposition of the Oregon verdicts, which involved armed militants, with the brutal treatment of unarmed activists fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota.

Watch Kierán's recent interview on DemocracyNow! and read Taylor's McKinnon's op-ed on the far-reaching implications of the Bundy verdicts.

EPA Proposes Expansion in Use of Toxic Pesticide Blend


A year ago the Environmental Protection Agency asked a court to revoke approval for Enlist Duo, a poisonous pesticide blend. This week the agency reversed course and proposed a dramatic expansion in the legal use of this pesticide -- which would allow it to be used on corn, soy and cotton in 35 states.

The problem? The two chemicals in the pesticide combine to have "synergistic" effects that are potentially harmful to endangered species and the environment.

"The EPA's sudden about-face on this product is just astounding," said the Center's Nathan Donley.

Learn more in our press release and read our report on synergistic pesticides.

Save the Weirdos logo


Greater Sage Grouse: Cock of the Walk  -- er, Dance 


Court Says Suit Against Wildlife Killers Can Continue

This summer groups including the Center filed suit in California challenging Monterey County's contract renewal with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services, the notorious federal program that has killed more than 3,000 coyotes, bobcats, mountain lions and other animals in that county alone in the past six years.

Last week the court denied the county's motion to dismiss our lawsuit, which will now move forward when we and our partners submit our opening brief later this month.

Said the Center's Collette Adkins: "We hope this lawsuit spurs Monterey County to realize people don't want their tax dollars used to evade environmental laws and eradicate wildlife, like coyotes and other predators, that control rodents to the benefit of the county's farmers."

Read more in our press release.

New Film Highlights Hunting Threats to Yellowstone Grizzlies

Trophy poster

If the feds remove Yellowstone grizzly bears' protections -- which may happen as soon as next month -- Idaho, Montana and Wyoming will let trophy hunters kill these beautiful animals.

The new film Trophy -- featuring the Center's Andrea Santarsiere -- highlights trophy hunting's impact on grizzlies in British Columbia and shows how such hunting could soon threaten Yellowstone's bears. Free screenings are being held across the country and in Canada all month. See if Trophy is coming to your town or watch it on the small screen now. This film was produced by Lush Cosmetics.

Lydia Millet

"Ours is a world of rapidly increasing sameness. And as we lose more and more species to extinction, as more and more forms of otherness pass into the night, it has seemed crucial to me that we extend our empathy to these other forms. The embodiment of that empathy is our protection."

—Lydia Millet, award-winning novelist and Center writer. Read more.

Joshua Tree

Don't Hang Joshua Tree Out to Dry -- Take Action

Southern California's Joshua Tree National Park and nearby public lands are under major threat from a scheme that would waste precious groundwater and hurt wildlife, from desert tortoises to bighorn sheep.

The Eagle Mountain Pumped Storage Project, approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in 2012 for electricity production, is surrounded on three sides by the iconic park. But the project would pump more than 9 billion gallons of ancient groundwater from the aquifer -- during a historic drought, in one of the driest places in the world -- depleting springs and wasting pumped-out water to evaporation in open-air reservoirs.

The Bureau of Land Management is taking comments on the last piece of the project -- a right-of-way for developers to build needed infrastructure on public lands. Urge the Bureau to halt this dangerous plan and defend Joshua Tree's most precious resource.

'The Dead Whale in My Neighborhood'

Miyo Sakashita and dead whale

When a juvenile blue whale washed up on the Northern California coast last week, nearby Center staff made a fieldtrip to the scene. They were struck not only by the majesty of the dead creature -- of the largest animal species in the world -- but by the sadness of its early death.

Skull fractures suggested the 65-foot whale may have been killed by a ship -- a problem the Center has tackled multiple times through legal action to reduce ship speeds in whale habitat.

Read Oakland staffer Miyoko Sakashita's column in The Huffington Post.

Stubby squid

Wild & Weird: It's an Octopus. It's a Cuttlefish. It's a… WTF?

Recently a team of researchers aboard the research vessel Nautilus were videoing -- and live-streaming over the internet -- the ocean off the coast of California when they spotted a most unusual googly-eyed critter.

At 3,000 feet beneath the surface, two prominent, almost cartoonish eyes stared up into the camera and appeared on computer screens around the world.

As they comment in real time, the researchers burst into uncontrollable laughter and attempt to guess the kind of critter they're looking at. One of them argues it's an octopus, the other says cuttlefish; one suggests it may be a child's toy tossed into the sea. As it turns out, it's actually an uncommon cephalopod called a "stubby squid" -- which, to confuse matters more, isn't a true squid but a close relative.

Watch our new video of the googly-eyed stubby squid on Facebook or YouTube.

Follow Us
 Facebook  Twitter  YouTube  Instagram  Medium 

Center for Biological Diversity   |   Saving Life on Earth

Opt out of this mailing list.    |    View this email in your browser.

Donate now to support the Center's work.

Photo credits: Graham's beardtongue courtesy Kevin Megown/USFSW; avocet family at Malheur Wildlife Refuge courtesy Barbara Wheeler/USFWS; corn field by Claude Millau/Flickr; Save the Weirdos logo courtesy Center for Biological Diversity; bobcat by wadetregaskis/Flickr ; Trophy poster courtesy Lush Cosmetics; Lydia Millet by Jade Beall; Joshua Tree by d-gernz/Flickr; Miyoko Sakashita and whale; stubby squid courtesy OET/Nautilus Live.

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