Bears Ears
Center for     Biological     Diversity   

685,000 Speak Out to Protect Bears Ears -- Thank You

President Trump has gotten an earful about his illegal plans to dismantle Utah's Bears Ears National Monument. In just over 15 days, more than 685,000 comments were submitted to the Trump administration calling for the protection of Bears Ears, which covers more than 1 million acres of biologically rich, culturally significant lands.

Trump last month ordered a review of Bears Ears and 26 other national monuments at the behest of Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), one of the most anti-public-lands members of Congress. Hatch's political career has been well funded by the fossil fuel industry, including the Koch brothers and Chevron.

Thanks to all of you who made your voice heard through the comment process on Bears Ears, which closed last Friday. Stay tuned for how you can soon help protect the other 26 monuments on Trump's hit list.

Read more in our press release and check out today's story in The Revelator about whether Trump really has the authority to shrink monuments.

Signing of the Paris Accord

Trump Ditches Paris Climate Agreement

President Trump announced today he's pulling the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement. The 2015 accord prompted nearly 200 countries to commit to voluntary cuts in planet-warming pollution. Sweden, for example, recently promised to end all greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.

A recent survey found that 71 percent of Americans support the Paris agreement, which acknowledges the urgent need to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels to avoid catastrophic climate change.

"Trump just confirmed his total contempt for our planet's future," said Kierán Suckling, the Center's executive director. "With this reckless rejection of international climate cooperation, the administration took a giant step toward turning our country into a rogue nation. Most Americans want global action against global warming, but Trump's foreign policy seems aimed strictly at appeasing coal companies and the oil industry."

Read more in The New York Times.

Red-eared slider

Ban Sought on Commercial Trapping of Texas Turtles

The Center and allies on Wednesday petitioned Texas to end commercial trapping of the state's wild turtles.

Currently, for-profit Texas turtle trappers on private lands can legally collect unlimited numbers of common snapping turtles, red-eared sliders, and smooth and spiny softshells, which already face pollution and habitat loss. Trappers caught an astonishing 2,000-plus freshwater turtles in Texas over the past two years, driven mostly by international food and medicinal markets, as well as the pet trade.

"Even modest commercial trapping of freshwater turtles can lead to population crashes," said the Center's Jenny Loda. "Texas needs to stop this exploitative act."

For more than a decade we've fought commercial harvest of freshwater turtles in all U.S. states that have inadequate regulations, with lots of wins so far.

Read more in our press release.

Speak Up for Pacific Walruses -- Take Action


Pacific walruses need Arctic sea ice for resting, socializing, giving birth and nursing their young. But climate change is melting the ice out from under them, putting their survival at risk.

The Center petitioned to protect walruses under the Endangered Species Act, but they've been languishing on a waiting list since 2011. So we took legal action -- and now the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is required to make a decision about protecting the species by this fall. Take a moment right now to urge the Service to do the right thing for walruses.


Trump Lawsuit Targets EPA's Closed-door Polluter Meetings

The Center sued the Trump administration this morning to obtain public records of closed-door meetings between the Environmental Protect Agency, states and industry groups over weakening wetlands protections under the Clean Water Act.

Trump issued an executive order in February that could potentially eliminate Clean Water Act protections for millions of acres of wetlands, which are critical to water purification, ecosystem health and habitat for hundreds of endangered species.

"The Clean Water Act is our most important safeguard for the health of the nation's waters and wetlands, so the public has a right to know why Trump's EPA is doing the bidding of special-interest polluters," said Brett Hartl, our government affairs director.

Read more in our press release.

Mule deer

Legal Protest Denounces Massive Nevada Fracking Plan

The Center and allies have challenged a Bureau of Land Management plan to auction off nearly 200,000 acres of public lands in Nevada for fossil fuel development, filing a protest over the BLM's failure to properly analyze fracking's impacts on water, the climate and ecosystems -- including wildlife like greater sage grouse, Railroad Valley springfish and mule deer.

"This dangerous fracking plan has no place on our public lands," said the Center's Taylor McKinnon. "The lease auction risks irretrievable harm to a huge swath of Nevada's beautiful wild places. Fracking pollution threatens the state's precious aquifers and springs, its endangered species and our collective climate future."

The BLM's original plan, under the Obama administration, would've deferred more than 104,000 acres from leasing for environmental reasons -- but Trump's BLM put all that land back in the crosshairs.

Read more in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Report: $7 Billion in Fossil Fuel Subsidies on Public Lands

Offshore oil rig

The U.S. government is giving extensive support to fossil fuel production on public lands and waters through direct subsidies, enforcement loopholes, lax royalty collection, stagnant lease rates and other giveaways to industry, a new report from the Center and allies finds.

The feds are providing at least $7 billion a year in subsidies and holding some $35 billion in public liabilities for drilling in Gulf of Mexico public waters, the report shows. These subsidies are drastically out of step with efforts to meet international climate objectives. Learn more.


Biodiversity Briefing: 'Welcome to the Resistance'

The Center's latest quarterly "Biodiversity Briefing" phone call, led by Executive Director Kierán Suckling, focused on the first 100 days of our fight against Trump's agenda -- including our second Earth2Trump Roadshow of Resistance, plus lawsuits challenging the border wall, Trump's stripping protections for wolves and bears on Alaska refuges, his Keystone XL approval and more.

Now we're on suit No. 19 and we're only getting started, in the courts and on the streets. As Kierán attests, many of Trump's plans were "stopped by a very active, coordinated, creative resistance, of which the Center has played a big part."

Check out our Trump Lawsuit Tracker and listen to a recording of Kierán's briefing. These personal phone briefings, including Q&A sessions, are open to all members of the Center's Leadership Circle and Owls Club. For information on how to join and be invited to participate live on the calls, email Development Associate Colleen Iuliucci or call her at (520) 623-5252 x 312.

KXL Suit Expands to Highlight Threats to Endangered Wildlife

Whooping crane

The Center and allies have added a new claim to our lawsuit against the Keystone XL pipeline, highlighting its threats to federally protected wildlife like the critically endangered whooping crane -- which weren't properly analyzed before the Fish and Wildlife Service approved the project. We also filed a notice of intent to sue the State Department over its inadequate review of the pipeline's impacts on whooping cranes, interior least terns and piping plovers.

"Keystone XL was rejected under Obama because it's a disaster for wildlife, water and our climate," said the Center's Jared Margolis. Read more.

Bees mating

Wild & Weird: Busy Bees Getting Busy

Karla Thompson is a macro-photographer and conservation advocate with a passion for arthropods. Over the years she's captured stunning, larger-than-life images of ambush and stick bugs, bees and parasitic flies. Recently she published a video of long-horned bees in the throes of mating. And while it's a little explicit, the footage is a rare and amazing glimpse of bee mating behavior, an intimate and literal lesson in the birds and the bees.

With exceptional clarity the video shows the male bee using his long antennae -- which give long-horned bees their name -- to stroke the female's smaller antennae during copulation.

Check out our new video with Karla Thompson's footage on Facebook or YouTube; then find out more about her work at Patreon.

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Photo credits: Bears Ears National Monument by rscottjones/Flickr; signing of the Paris Agreement courtesy United Nations; juvenile red-eared slider by Eric Osmundson/Flickr; walrus courtesy USGS; bayou by adrasha/Flickr; mule deer by Kait Thomas/NPS; offshore oil rig by Kris Krüg/Flickr; wolf by klengel/Flickr; whooping crane by kro-media/Flickr; mating bees by Karla Thompson.

Center for Biological Diversity
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Tucson, AZ 85702