Bears Ears National Monument
Center for     Biological     Diversity   

Zinke Pushes to Shrink Bears Ears National Monument

The war on public lands took a troubling turn this week. On Monday Trump's Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke recommended that President Trump vastly shrink Utah's Bears Ears National Monument, removing critical protections for irreplaceable public lands and American Indian cultural sites while rewarding corporate polluters and the lawmakers they helped put into office.

The recommendation is part of a "review" by the Trump administration of 27 monuments around the country -- on land and in oceans -- that threatens over 1 billion acres.

More than 1 million public comments were submitted calling for continued protection of Bears Ears and other monuments at risk. Thanks to all of you who spoke out -- this fight isn't over. The Center for Biological Diversity is committed to fighting for Bears Ears and all national monuments, so stay tuned for how you can help.

Read more in The Guardian and read more in The Revelator about the roots of Bears Ears.

California tiger salamander

New Plan Would Protect 400,000 Acres for Tiger Salamanders

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service this week released a recovery plan for the threatened central California population of California tiger salamanders, calling for protection of 400,000 acres of habitat.

The plan -- coming more than a decade after the salamanders received Endangered Species Act protection -- is part of a legal settlement between the agency and the Center. It focuses mainly on alleviating habitat loss and fragmentation by permanently protecting breeding ponds and nearby uplands within the 23 foothill counties of the Central Valley and Inner Coast Range where the amphibians live.

"This plan gives us hope for one of our most imperiled salamanders," said the Center's Jenny Loda.

Read more in our press release.

Ban Sought on M-44 'Cyanide Bombs' in Wyoming


In the wake of two Wyoming dog deaths and the hospitalization of an Idaho teenager, the Center and allies petitioned this week for an immediate ban on the use of M-44 "cyanide bombs" by the USDA's notorious Wildlife Services program in Wyoming.

"Cyanide bombs are indiscriminate killers that must be banned," said the Center's Andrea Santarsiere.

A similar petition we filed in Idaho in March prompted Wildlife Services to remove the poison devices from all lands in that state. Read more.

Flying squirrel mural

New Endangered Species Mural: Flying Squirrels in Asheville

The Center has just unveiled the 13th installation in our Endangered Species Mural Project: a vibrant, larger-than-life painting of Carolina northern flying squirrels gliding across a wall at the entrance into downtown Asheville, N.C. The 90-by-20-foot mural, by project coordinator Roger Peet and Asheville artist Tricia Tripp, was unveiled Sunday during a lively celebration hosted with local group Dogwood Alliance.

"This beautiful little flying squirrel really represents the forests and mountains of this area," said Peet. "The fact that its habitat is shrinking because of climate change makes it even more iconic for this moment -- and it's more important than ever to stop its extinction."

Read more in the Citizen-Times.

Trump's Troubling Plan for Sage Grouse

Greater sage grouse

Interior Secretary Zinke has announced plans for a "review" that threatens to undermine efforts to protect greater sage grouse across 11 western states.

Zinke's plan could give big oil companies and other polluters -- who want to exploit public lands for oil, gas, grazing and agriculture -- new access to vital habitat for these iconic dancing birds.

"We'll do everything in our power to make sure this amazing animal and its habitat are protected," said the Center's Randi Spivak. Learn more in our press release.

Alaskan sockeye salmon

Protect Alaska's Bristol Bay From Open-pit Mine

President Trump and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt recently struck a backroom deal with a foreign mining company that wants to build an open-pit mine near some of our nation's most precious waters in Bristol Bay, Alaska. The announcement to even consider such a mine marks a sharp reversal to existing plans to protect the area. Over the past decade, activists and fisherman have been working to secure safeguards for Bristol Bay and its wildlife.

The Bristol Bay watershed is home to a pristine ecosystem and the largest sockeye salmon fishery in the world. It supports 14,000 jobs in commercial fishing and outdoor recreation -- and for generations Alaska Natives have fished and hunted here.

Tell the EPA to stick to its original plan to protect Bristol Bay and reject this mine proposal.

The Revelator logo

The Revelator

Environmental Issues That Give Nightmares to Horror Writers

Arroyo toad

Major Settlement Helps Save Toads, Fight Climate Change

Some good news for endangered arroyo toads and other species, as well as the climate: The Center and allies have secured a legal agreement over a Southern California development that will combat the project's carbon footprint and require permanent, significant wildlife-protection measures.

The precedent-setting settlement -- reached Friday over the massive "Tapestry" development planned for Hesperia, Calif. -- protects more than 1,070 acres of wildlands, connects open spaces through wildlife corridors, and removes threats to arroyo toads like off-road vehicles and cattle. It also requires the generation of 2 kilowatts of rooftop solar energy for every 1,000 square feet of development -- which, beyond the obvious climate benefits, will set a standard that future developers can, and should, follow to meet California's climate change goals.

Read more in the Daily Press.

Public Records Sought on EPA Delays in Reducing Smog

Smoggy Los Angeles

A day after suing over the issue, the Center and allies filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking public records illuminating the Environmental Protection Agency's illegal decision to delay a requirement for states to reduce dangerous ozone pollution.

Even though this smog causes 1,000 deaths annually, the EPA announced last week it's waiting till October 2018 -- a year late -- to make states prove compliance with ozone standards.

"Americans need to know why the feds are obstructing lifesaving measures," said the Center's Brett Hartl. Read more.

Gunnison National Forest

A New Push for Coal Mining in Colorado Roadless Forest

Shortly after announcing a planned U.S. exit from the historic Paris climate agreement, Trump's administration pushed ahead with another senseless and destructive action: letting a potential 17 million tons of coal be mined out of 1,700 acres of roadless, wild public lands in Colorado's Gunnison National Forest.

The mine expansion plan follows numerous other Trump actions embracing outmoded dirty coal. These include quashing rules that stop mines from dumping millions of tons of metal-laced waste rock and heavy-metal poisons into waterways, as well as rules limiting health-threatening air pollutants from coal-fired plants.

"Bulldozing aspen groves to mine coal is the Trump administration in a nutshell," said Allison Melton, a Center attorney. "But it's madness for the climate and for the people of Colorado. We're not going to sit still and let it happen."

Read more in our press release.

Wolf spider

Wild & Weird: Ever Seen a Spider With Bling?

Wolf spiders, like cats and other night-hunting critters, have an iridescent layer behind their retinas called a "tapetum," which reflects light. If you've ever been on a night hike and seen tiny flashes of light on the forest floor, there's a pretty good chance a wolf spider was looking at you.

But recently released footage of a wolf spider shows dozens of tiny sparkles all over her back. What might those be?

Find out in our new video about this blinged-out spider on Facebook.

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Photo credits: Bears Ears National Monument by Bob Wick/BLM; California tiger salamander by Margaret Mantor/California Department of Fish and Wildlife; coyote by Alan D. Wilson/Nature's Pics Online; flying squirrel mural by Roger Peet; greater sage grouse by Howard Patterson/Flickr; Alaskan sockeye salmon by Katrina Mueller/USFWS; The Revelator logo courtesy Center for Biological Diversity; arroyo toad courtesy Sam Stewart, 2008; smoggy Los Angeles freeway by Jay Peeples/Flickr; Crested Butte in Gunnison National Forest by Bob Pearson/Wikimedia; wolf spider courtesy ViralHog.

Center for Biological Diversity
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