California condor
Center for     Biological     Diversity   

1 Million Acres in California Saved From Oil Drilling, Fracking

We're celebrating an important victory this week in California: Legal work by the Center for Biological Diversity and allies has just stopped the Trump administration from opening more than 1 million acres of public land to drilling and fracking.

Our newest settlement preserves a four-year-old moratorium on leasing federal land in California to oil companies. It protects vast stretches of the Central Valley, southern Sierra Nevada and Central Coast -- vital habitat for condors and other endangered species. This win comes at a crucial moment as Trump and his friends in Congress try to ramp up fossil fuel extraction across the country.

"This is a major blow to Trump's plan to turn public lands over to oil companies," said the Center's Brendan Cummings. "These beautiful wild places are still off-limits to drilling and fracking."

Read more in our press release.

Rose Braz

In Memoriam: Rose Braz, Climate Champion

Renowned and beloved San Francisco environmental and human-liberation activist Rosemarie Braz died last week after a three-year battle with brain cancer.

The Center's longtime climate campaign director, Rose worked tirelessly to build and strengthen ties between climate, environmental and social justice, labor, and faith organizations. She launched several influential national climate and anti-fracking coalitions, including Californians Against Fracking, and helped pass fracking bans in six California counties.

"Rose Braz brought people and organizations together better than anyone I have ever known," said the Center's Kassie Siegel. "Those of us striving to ban fracking, keep fossil fuels in the ground and solve the climate crisis will be forever guided and inspired by her example."

Read more at our website.

Maryland Stops Cruel Ray 'Killing Contests' -- Thank You

Cownose rays

Thanks to work by the Save the Rays coalition -- including the Center -- as well as online petitions from thousands of Center supporters, Maryland's governor has signed a bill halting "killing contests" in Chesapeake Bay that target cownose rays, amazing but imperiled animals that migrate in huge schools along the Atlantic Coast.

"I'm so glad Maryland stopped these brutal contests allowing gentle rays to be shot and left to rot," said Center attorney Collette Adkins. "Thank you to all who helped oppose this senseless slaughter -- you made a difference." Read more.

Ryan Zinke addresses audience

Records Sought as Trump's EPA, Interior Dismiss Scientists

This week the Center filed public-records requests seeking emails and other documents that illuminate the Trump administration's sudden dismissal and suspension of scientists on advisory panels at the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Interior.

Last Friday both the EPA and the Interior Department announced their overhaul of the scientific advisory boards that inform how their agencies assess the science behind government policies -- the first step in a broader effort by the Trump administration to replace science-backed policy with corporate and industry-paid advisors.

"The Trump administration's systematic removal of scientists and academics to make way for industry hacks is truly a case of the fox guarding the henhouse to feed corporate greed," said Meg Townsend, open government attorney at the Center.

Get more from EnviroNews.

El Jefe

Forest Service on Verge of Rosemont Mine Decision

The U.S. Forest Service indicated this week that it will issue a decision on the proposed Rosemont open-pit copper mine in southern Arizona in early June. The Center has been fighting to halt this project, which would blast a mile-wide, 3,000-foot-deep pit in the Santa Rita Mountains and bury thousands of acres of public land in more than a billion tons of toxic waste.

The mine's footprint lies squarely in jaguar critical habitat and would destroy much of the home territory of the famous jaguar El Jefe, who was photographed more than 100 times living in the Santa Ritas over a period of three years.

"No rational analysis could lead the stewards of our public lands to conclude that this devastating project is acceptable," said the Center's Randy Serraglio.

Read more in the Arizona Daily Star.

Census: U.S. Population Has Topped 325 Million

Los Angeles sprawl

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the country's population just surpassed 325 million, currently increasing by one person every 14 seconds.

The United States is responsible for at least 15 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, and over the past 50 years -- while the country grew by more than 100 million -- wildlife populations halved.

As the Center's Leigh Moyer said, "Hitting this population record highlights the danger of the Trump administration's attacks on reproductive healthcare and environmental protections."

Get more from EcoWatch and learn about our Population and Sustainability program.

Plastic beach trash

Appeal Filed to Clean Up Ocean Plastic Pollution in California

San Francisco Bay and at least three other California coastline areas suffer severe plastic pollution that violates the federal Clean Water Act, according to an appeal the Center just filed with the state's Water Resources Control Board.

A Center analysis of scientific studies found that the Bay Area coastline and waters off San Diego, the North Coast and Channel Islands National Park should be declared impaired -- requiring state officials to clean up the sources of that plastic pollution.

"Californians are swimming in plastic," said the Center's Blake Kopcho, who conducted the survey. "This pollution is disturbingly widespread, from microfibers in the San Diego surf to water bottles on Eureka's Clam Beach. We need to clean up the plastic that's fouling our coastline and infecting marine life."

Read more in our press release.

Mexican gray wolf chasing her tail

Wild & Weird: Wolves Will Be Dogs

Remote camera footage released recently by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows a female Mexican gray wolf chasing her tail. It's a good reminder that wolves and domesticated dogs are kin.

The reason that dogs -- and wolves -- chase their tails is varied. They may be bored; they may have an obsessive-compulsive disorder; they may have fleas, an itchy tail or all of the above.

Watch footage of a wild Mexican gray wolf at the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico chasing her tail on Facebook or YouTube.

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Photo credits: California condor by Fred Hochstaedter/Flickr; Rose Braz; cownose rays by nano_maus/Flickr; Ryan Zinke addressing audience by Jacob W. Frank/NPS; El Jefe courtesy Conservation CATalyst and Center for Biological Diversity; Los Angeles sprawl by ATIS547/Flickr; plastic beach trash by Siddhesh Mangela/Flickr; Mexican gray wolf courtesy USFWS.

Center for Biological Diversity
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