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Center for     Biological     Diversity   

Analysis: EPA Routinely Allows Use of Untested Pesticides

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been regularly allowing widespread use of unapproved pesticides under the pretext of an "emergency" when no emergency exists, according to a new analysis by the Center for Biological Diversity.

The EPA's exploitation of the emergency provision has meant that unapproved pesticides are used year after year across millions of acres — in ways that either haven't been tested to be safe or are known to be harmful to wildlife.

"The chronic abuse of the emergency approval process has created a dangerous shortcut for pesticide companies," said Stephanie Parent, a senior Center attorney. "This secretive practice puts people and wildlife at risk, and it needs to stop."

Stay tuned on how you can help — and learn more from our press release and website.

Gopher tortoise

Win in Florida: Lawsuit Halts Disastrous Development

The Center and allies sued Trump's U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for approving a monstrous development slated for the largest expanse of privately owned pine rocklands habitat in Florida's Miami-Dade County.

Just hours later a judge halted the project, granting a temporary reprieve to 22 imperiled species — Florida bonneted bats, gopher tortoises, Miami tiger beetles and many more. Some barely cling to survival on the last few pine rocklands tracts.

"The judge's order has given these plants and animals and the residents of this community an opportunity for their day in court, an opportunity to have justice upheld, and a fighting chance at survival," said Jaclyn Lopez, the Center's Florida director.

Read more and check out our Trump Lawsuit Tracker.

Reward for Wolf Killer Boosted to $20,000

Gray wolf

The Center and Cascadia Wildlands have doubled a reward to $20,000 for clues leading to conviction in November's killing of two wolves in northeast Washington.

We also told the feds to improve efforts to investigate poaching in Washington and Oregon. These two wolves' deaths followed killings of three other Northwest wolves in just months.

"Poaching is a deplorable crime," said the Center's Noah Greenwald. "We need people to help put a stop to the killing of these endangered animals." Read more.

Grand Canyon

Court Upholds Uranium Mining Ban Near Grand Canyon

On Tuesday morning the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a 20-year ban on new uranium mining across 1 million acres near the Grand Canyon. Predictably, hours later a Republican-controlled committee in Congress held a hearing to consider lifting the ban.

Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), who spearheaded the attacks on our national monuments, has called for lifting the Grand Canyon uranium-mining ban. The Trump administration has also recommended rolling it back.

"There's every reason to believe uranium mining could permanently damage Grand Canyon's precious aquifers and springs," said the Center's Taylor McKinnon. "That's an unacceptable risk, and it's immoral of Congress and Trump to even consider it."

Read more in The Washington Post and learn about our long campaign for the canyon.

Los Angeles air pollution

98 Million Pounds of Air Toxics Used by L.A. Oil Companies

Oil companies have used more than 98 million pounds of chemicals known to cause serious health problems in Los Angeles County since 2013, according to a report, Danger Next Door, co-authored by Center Staff Scientist John Fleming. These "air toxics" were often used dangerously close to where we live — and places caring for our sick and children.

The report revealed Wednesday that more than 80 percent of air-toxic uses involved just 12 chemicals, including known carcinogens. The report further found that over 30 percent of the 1,140 well-stimulation operations using air toxics in the county occurred within 1,500 feet of at least one hospital, preschool or residence.

"The oil industry's massive use of air-toxic chemicals threatens the lungs and lives of thousands of people in Los Angeles," said Fleming. "It would be irresponsible for state and local regulators to allow drilling to continue in our densely populated neighborhoods."

Read more in our press release.

Mount Graham red squirrel

In The Revelator: Squirrel Sex Gets Complicated

Arizona's Mount Graham red squirrels have been in trouble for years. In fact, the Center has been part of a long battle to protect them, including from a University of Arizona telescope that destroyed or fragmented nearly half of their habitat.

A fire last summer plunged these endangered squirrels deeper into crisis. There are now only about 35 left in the wild, and even more of their habitat has been damaged. Phoenix Zoo's Arizona Center for Nature Conservation has five more squirrels as part of a "captive-assurance" program to save them from extinction. The trick now? Figuring out how to get them to breed.

Read more in The Revelator.

Humpback whale

Lawsuit Launched to Protect Humpback Whales

The Center and allies this week filed a notice of intent to sue the Trump administration for failing to protect humpback whale habitat in the Pacific Ocean, where the animals face threats from fisheries, ship strikes and oil spills.

One population of endangered humpback whales that feeds off California's coast numbers barely more than 400 individuals — meaning any death or injury from entanglement could hurt the population's recovery. At least 54 humpback whales were found tangled up in nets and lines off the West Coast last year.

A new study also found that an estimated 22 humpback whales off California, Oregon and Washington die every year after being hit by ships.

Read more in our press release.


Wild & Weird: Bobcats Will Be Cats

At roughly twice the size of your average house cat, bobcats are fierce hunters that can kill prey larger than they are. They're also beautiful. But since they're nocturnal, few people ever get a chance to see them in the flesh.

Fortunately we've got footage of a mother bobcat and her three adorable wild kittens lounging, playing and training for the hunt after they take over a residential golf green outside Phoenix, Ariz.

Take a look on Facebook, YouTube or Instagram.

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Photo credits: Bee by Myriams-Fotos/Pixabay; gopher tortoise by Craig O'Neal/Wikimedia; gray wolf by Jeremy Weber/Flickr; Grand Canyon by cecilevanmeensel/Pixabay; Los Angeles air pollution by Ben Amstutz/Flickr; Mount Graham squirrel by Arizona Center for Nature Conservation/Phoenix Zoo; humpback whale courtesy Pixabay; bobcats, public domain.

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