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Center for     Biological     Diversity   

Welcome to the Resistance

What a year. The election of Donald Trump reordered not only the political world but the Center for Biological Diversity's work as well. Rising to the threat of his cabinet of oligarchs, and a far-right Congress unwilling to unite against Trump's illegal and unethical actions, we've launched a massive organizing push, Ignite Change, that's expanding daily. We've already signed up more than 15,000 volunteers nationwide to focus on this movement's first strategic battle: protecting public lands by opposing Trump's attack on national monuments.

We've also made more than 550 Freedom of Information Act requests to the administration so far, fighting to illuminate the murky, corrupt behind-the-scenes dealings of agency heads and Trump yes-men. We've filed more than 40 lawsuits against Trump's bureaucracy in less than a year. We're vigorously opposing the destructive, racist boondoggle of his planned border wall. And we launched our online publication The Revelator to cover conservation news and ideas with in-depth investigative features that are helping hold Trump accountable.

Meanwhile, of course, we're doing what we've always done: saving species and wild places as hard and fast as we can and leveraging law and science against climate catastrophe.

Below are some highlights from 2017. Thank you for being with us in the struggle — we need each other now more than ever.


Saving Species and Habitat

The Trump administration will likely go down as the worst in U.S. history when it comes to the protection of endangered species, seizing every opportunity to deny them help or strip them of safeguards they'd been relying on to survive.

Against this assault, the Center secured temporary bans on lethal M-44 cyanide capsules in Idaho, Colorado and Northern California, and helped ban reptile collection in Nevada, as well as commercial trapping of diamondback terrapin turtles in New York. We successfully defended 750,000 acres of critical habitat for jaguars and 6,500 acres for dusky gopher frogs and won new protections for eight species, including Sonoyta mud turtles, Hawaii's 'i'iwi and four Florida plants. And we led the fight in Washington, D.C., against a wave of fresh congressional attacks on the bedrock of the Endangered Species Act. Learn more about the extinction crisis.

Grand Canyon

Curbing the Climate Crisis

The Trump White House and right-wing Congress, both full of climate-change deniers, are working as hard as they can to hurt the planet and sabotage U.S. global leadership by ignoring and even dismissing the urgency of global warming.

In the face of this the Center held the line, cementing protection for 120 million acres of polar bear critical habitat; maintaining a complete moratorium on federal oil and gas leasing in California for the fifth year in a row; and helping ensure the release of a crucial federal report assessing climate change damages in the United States. Check out the Center's Climate Law Institute.

Bears Ears

Keeping Public Lands in Public Hands

In a year when public lands came under fire as never before, the Center has fought tooth and nail to keep the people's heritage landscapes and ecosystems out of reach of corporations that want to mine, frack, drill, log and soil them beyond recognition.

We sued the Trump administration over its attempts to deeply slash protections for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments. We also sued Trump over the border wall to save endangered species from unconstitutional actions and filed nine lawsuits to protect millions of acres of public lands and endangered wildlife in eight states from fossil fuel and mineral extraction. We also won a court order that stalled a massive Nevada water pipeline that would dry up 200 square miles of delicate, arid wildlands to feed Las Vegas sprawl. Read about our work to save national monuments.


Environmental Health

As Trump's anti-government government agencies promote polluters' rights to dirty our world and wage war against public-health protections, our work for environmental health won critical victories this year.

We persuaded a federal court to reject the Trump administration's attempt to delay action on smog-reduction rules; scored two critical legal victories in cases challenging the EPA's refusal to consider pesticides' impacts on endangered species; and helped push through a bill protecting 27,000 miles of essential salmon habitat along Oregon streams from destructive suction dredge mining. Learn more about our Environmental Health program.

African giraffe

International Action

With the United States' international reputation collapsing in the wake of the election to levels that make George W. Bush look good, the Center continued expanding our partnerships with environmental advocates in other countries this year, helping whenever we could to fight for the wild creatures they hold dear.

We challenged the Trump administration's decision to allow sport-hunted elephant trophy imports from Zimbabwe despite population declines; petitioned to protect Africa's giraffes as endangered due to habitat destruction, poaching and the skin trade; and successfully sought stronger protections for Mexico's critically endangered vaquita porpoises, the most severely endangered cetaceans in the world, from the UN's World Heritage Committee. We also took a delegation to Okinawa, where we continue our epic fight to save Okinawa dugongs from U.S. military developments. Check out our top international campaigns.

Center for Biological Diversity activists

Organizing to Inspire Change

In response to the unprecedented dangers posed by Donald Trump and a far-right-dominated Congress, the Center this year launched Ignite Change, a massive national network to mobilize volunteers across the country to make their voices heard as effectively as possible on crucial conservation and environmental issues across the country.

We organized hundreds of meetings and made thousands of phone calls and texts opposing Trump's attacks on national monuments in summer and fall, and we led protests at international climate talks in Bonn, Germany, against fossil fuel production in U.S. climate policy. Take a moment to join Ignite Change, and don't forget to follow Ignite Change on Facebook and Twitter.

Humpback whale

Preserving Our Oceans

As ocean acidification, overfishing and other planetary-scale threats encroach on a deep blue world that supports us all — and which we've hardly even begun to explore — the Center worked on many fronts this year to fend off the destruction of marine species and ecosystems.

Among other initiatives, we sued California over a spate of whale entanglements in crab gear and publicized the problem; defended endangered species protections of ice seals and polar bear habitat against industry attacks; and passed more than a dozen city resolutions in California resisting moves to expand offshore drilling and fracking. Learn more about our oceans work.


Population and Sustainability

The Trump administration seems to be doing its level best to erode women's rights, so we worked hard to secure them in 2017, both for people's sake and for the planet's. We sent 600 Endangered Species Condoms to the U.S. Senate to urge protection for reproductive rights and family-planning programs, among other actions.

As Trump's cabinet threw its weight around to keep a meat-heavy, junk-heavy diet in schools and homes, we helped expose EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's appearance in a beef-industry video pushing to overturn clean-water protections. We formed a groundbreaking partnership with the University of California at Davis's Wild Energy Initiative to study the potential of distributed solar energy and produced a series of funny PSAs starring Ed Begley, Jr., that aired more than 7,000 times nationwide, including on the National Geographic Channel, to promote healthy habits and greener living. Learn more about our Population and Sustainability projects.

Santa Clara River Estuary

Protecting the Urban Interface

In our anti-sprawl and private-land stewardship advocacy, the Center secured a historic settlement with California's massive and inexorable Newhall Ranch development that mandated net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, preserved thousands of acres of wildlands, and secured funding for Santa Clara River conservation.

We also strengthened Riverside County's Climate Action Plan to ensure that new developments adopt rigorous climate change mitigation and protected 1,070 acres of wildlands — including critical habitat for arroyo toads — in Hesperia, Calif. Check out our Urban Wildlands program.

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Photo credits: Bald eagle by Alan D. Wilson/Nature's Pics Online; jaguar by quinnanya/Flickr; polar bear by Alan D. Wilson/Nature's Pics Online; Bears Ears National Monument by Bob Wick/BLM; bee by frted/Flickr; African giraffe by johannekekroesbergen/Flickr; Center for Biological Diversity activists courtesy Center for Biological Diversity; humpback whale courtesy Pixabay; protester by Joe Brusky/Flickr; Santa Clara River Estuary by Dave Spindle/Flickr.

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