Endangered Earth Online: Your weekly wildlife update.
Bears Ears National Monument
Center for     Biological     Diversity   

National Monument Boundaries Still on Chopping Block

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is still coming after national monuments. Zinke has apparently finished his "review" of the monuments and is recommending changes to several, according to media reports this morning. The public is still being left in the dark about his recommendations, which have been sent to the Trump White House.

Earlier this year the Trump administration decided to "review" 27 national monuments on public lands and oceans covering nearly 1 billion acres. The intent has been clear: scaling back protections for these places to accommodate special interests like oil and gas drilling. More than 2.8 million people have urged the Trump administration to keep protections in place.

"Zinke's sham review was rigged from the beginning to open up more public lands to fossil fuel, mining and timber industries," said Randi Spivak, public lands director at the Center for Biological Diversity. "He and Trump will not be allowed to rob Americans of their public lands. They're asking for a court battle, and they'll get one."

Read Randi's piece in Medium about 7 things to know about Trump's attack on national monuments.

Trump protest, Phoenix, Ariz.

Thousands Protest Trump Speech in Phoenix

At least 4,000 people protested President Trump's speech in Phoenix, Ariz., on Tuesday, including Center staff who drove up from our Tucson headquarters.

The nonviolent rally — held in 107 degree heat — focused on social and environmental justice, especially timely in the face of Trump's bigoted, anti-immigrant agenda and destructive border wall.

"We're not about to let Trump come to Arizona without raising our voice for people, wildlife and our border communities," said Regina Romero, the Center's director of Latino engagement. "What I saw in Phoenix was a testament to how strong, powerful and diverse this resistance is becoming. We're inspired and ready to take on Trump at every turn."

Read more in the Los Angeles Times.

Suit Challenges Huge "Twin Tunnels" Project Threatening Fish

Alameda Creek in the San Francisco Bay-Delta

The Center and allies sued Monday challenging approval of California's Delta tunnels project, which would harm endangered species and cripple California's sustainable-fishing economy.

The $17 billion boondoggle calls for two massive 35-mile tunnels to siphon water to Southern California from the Sacramento River and San Francisco Bay-Delta. The tunnels would prevent flows needed for fish habitat and water quality, threatening chinook salmon, steelhead trout and other rare fish. Associated infrastructure would likely hurt greater sandhill cranes. Read more.


Win: Court OKs Suit to Protect Okinawa Dugong

Big news in our fight to save Okinawa dugongs: The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this week that the Center, Earthjustice and our other allies have the right to push ahead with our lawsuit to protect dugongs from a controversial U.S. military base expansion in Okinawa, Japan.

The base would pave over some of the last remaining habitat for endangered Okinawa dugongs, which are gentle marine mammals related to manatees. Preliminary construction on the U.S. Marine Corps air base at Henoko Bay began earlier this year.

"This ruling is a critical lifeline for the highly endangered Okinawa dugong," said Peter Galvin, a Center cofounder. "We're hopeful that an objective review of the project will cause the U.S. Department of Defense to rethink this environmentally, socially disastrous military base expansion plan."

Read more in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Polar bear

Trump Poised to Green-light Drilling in Polar Bear Habitat

The first oil development in federal Arctic waters may soon be a go: Hilcorp's Liberty project, involving drilling for oil from an artificial island in the Beaufort Sea, just got an initial green light from the Trump administration in a draft "environmental impact statement." Federal documents show that offshore drilling in the Arctic carries a 75 percent chance of a major oil spill.

"Polar bears, bowhead whales and other imperiled Arctic species will be in terrible danger if the Trump administration approves this project," said the Center's Kristen Monsell.

Read a three-part series on Hilcorp's dismal environmental record in The Revelator.

Trump Stops Research on Mountaintop-removal Coal Mining

Mountaintop removal mining

President Trump's irrational support of coal just sank to a new low. His administration has ordered researchers to cease studying the health effects of mountaintop-removal coal mining — an environmentally devastating practice linked to cancer, birth defects and cardiovascular illness in Appalachia. Last Friday Trump's Office of Surface Mining wrote to the National Academy of Sciences, which was contracted to conduct the research, and told it to stop immediately.

The Center has been fighting mountaintop removal for years — we won't stop now. Read more in The Hill.

Grizzly bear

The Revelator Investigates: The Future of Grizzly Bears

The Center's new online outlet The Revelator offers a richness of fresh reporting this week for those of us fascinated by grizzly bears: two in-depth investigations by reporter John Dougherty.

The first piece, "Yellowstone Grizzlies Face Unbearable Divides," is a far-reaching special report, replete with great maps and bear pics, on the precarious position of the area's iconic giants. These bears are now decisively isolated from other grizzly populations after the Trump administration stripped their federal protection.

The second piece examines just how many bears stand to be taken by trophy hunters now that the animals' management has been handed over to Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.

Read "Unbearable Divides" and "Yellowstone Grizzlies: How Many Could Hunters Kill?"

European wolves

Wild & Weird: How Do Wolves React to Solar Eclipses?

As Americans prepared to witness the solar eclipse on Monday, scientists got set to study how wildlife reacts to such celestial events. Purdue scholars, for example, decided to gather thousands of audio files from museums, parks and citizen scientists to find out how animals vocalize during eclipses. And the California Academy of Sciences put out a free app that allowed users to log wildlife sightings just before, during and after the event.

There have long been stories about wild animals reacting strangely to eclipses. Check out Vanessa Renwick's new video of Dr. Paul C. Paquet, a University of Victoria professor, describing his experience with wolves on Facebook or YouTube.

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Photo credits: Bears Ears National Monument by Bob Wick/BLM; Phoenix Trump protest by Taylor McKinnon/Center for Biological Diversity; Alameda Creek in the San Francisco Bay-Delta by Wayne Hsieh/Flickr; dugong by Julien Willem/Wikimedia; polar bear by Jenny Pansing/Flickr; mountaintop removal mining by Jibrilkyser/Wikimedia; grizzly bear by Jim Peaco/Yellowstone National Park; European wolves by ilpensatore/Flickr.

Center for Biological Diversity
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Tucson, AZ 85702