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Yellowstone National Park
Center for     Biological     Diversity   

Attacks on Public Lands Surged During Year One of Trump

Something isn't right: More than 90 percent of Americans from both political parties want to protect and maintain national forests, parks, monuments and wildlife refuges — yet Congress unleashed a vicious slew of attacks on public lands and waters in 2017, according to a new Center for Biological Diversity report.

The 115th Congress introduced 124 bills last year to strip protection from precious public places. The top six culprits — all far-right Republicans — were Alaska's Rep. Don Young and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Wyoming's Sen. John Barrasso, Arizona's Sen. Jeff Flake, and Nevada's Sen. Dean Heller and Rep. Mark Amodei.

"Our public lands and waters have never been under greater threat," said the Center's Paulo Lopes. "Cherished places that Americans thought were protected forever are being put on the chopping block to benefit fossil fuel companies and other special interests."

Read the report.

Sombra, borderlands jaguar

Judge OKs Trump's Wall — Help Us Defend the Borderlands

A federal judge ruled Wednesday that President Trump has virtually unlimited authority to build his disastrous, destructive border wall.

The U.S.–Mexico borderlands are steeped in local culture and contain crucial habitat for jaguars, ocelots, Mexican wolves and hundreds of other species. The wall will shear communities in half and condemn dozens of endangered species to die as they try to follow ancient migratory pathways.

We can't let this ruling stand. As soon as it happened the Center's attorneys kicked into high gear, developing an emergency plan to take the fight to the U.S. Supreme Court.

We will prevail — but we need your help. Please donate to our emergency Trump Resistance Fund today.

A Revelator Investigation: Crisis Along the Border

Border wall

While Trump's misguided border wall has dominated the media, a quiet, far-reaching crisis has been unfolding along the U.S.-Mexico border, where thousands of underserved communities lack basic environmental and health infrastructure.

A three-month investigation took The Revelator to some of the hardest hit communities in California, Arizona, Texas and Mexico. We found sickness and environmental contamination in a region that experiences poverty rates double the national averages. Check out the first story in the "Border Betrayed" series.

Mexican wolves

Mexican Wolf Recovery Perilously Stagnant

The new census of U.S. Mexican gray wolves shows their population increased by only one wolf during 2017 — meaning just 114 individuals roam their entire U.S. range. That's a far cry from the 750-strong population experts deem necessary for these wolves not to risk extinction.

After a Center suit, in 1998 the feds began releasing captive-bred wolves into the wild U.S. Southwest after they'd nearly disappeared. We sued again this January over their latest recovery plan, with a woefully inadequate population goal of 320 wolves.

"Mexican wolves face so many challenges that every individual's survival counts," said the Center's Michael Robinson. "More animals must be released."

Learn about saving Mexican wolves and read more in the Santa Fe New Mexican.

Factory farm

Take Action: Don't Let Factory Farms Hide Their Pollution

Every year U.S. factory farms produce millions of pounds of air pollution, threatening public health, wildlife and the environment. Now corporate agribusiness is trying to get Congress' help to hide its dirty work.

Next week the Senate will hold a hearing on a bill to exempt factory farms from reporting emissions of hazardous substances such as ammonia and hydrogen sulfide, which can cause respiratory diseases and other health problems. The bill is named the "Fair Agricultural Reporting Method Act" — but there's nothing fair about it. Its only goal is to make it harder for us to know when we're being exposed to dangerous levels of air pollution from this dirty industry.

Tell your senators to vote no on Senate Bill 2421.

Rubber Dodo

Zinke Wins Center's Rubber Dodo Award

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is the winner of the Center's annual Rubber Dodo award. The statue is awarded each year to the person or group who has most aggressively sought to destroy America's natural heritage or drive endangered species extinct.

In his short tenure with the Trump administration, Zinke and his agency have announced massive cuts to two national monuments, opened bidding for the largest oil lease-sale ever offered in Alaska's National Petroleum Reserve, overturned Obama's moratorium on federal coal leasing, proposed a staggering increase in offshore drilling off America's coasts, and denied lifesaving protections to the Pacific walrus.

"Ryan Zinke seems to wake up every day wondering how he can tear apart America's public lands, ramp up oil and gas development and put endangered species on a fast track to extinction," said Kierán Suckling, the Center's executive director.

Read more in our press release.


Judge: Trump Can't Keep Stalling Methane Rules

After lawsuits by the Center, our allies and the states of California and New Mexico, a second federal judge has held that the Trump administration can't continue stalling rules to protect people and the climate from methane emissions.

The judge said Trump's proposal to suspend rules on methane emissions from oil and gas operations was "untethered to evidence" and would cause irreparable harm to people who live or work near public lands.

"This ruling shows the courts won't allow the Trump administration to flout the law to reward the fossil fuel industry," said the Center's Michael Saul. "Unchecked methane waste hurts our lungs, rips off taxpayers and cooks the planet."

Read more in the Santa Fe New Mexican.

World's Oldest Known Bird Mom Hatches New Chick

Wisdom, the Laysan albatross

Wisdom is a 67-year-old Laysan albatross — a large seabird of the North Pacific. She's the world's oldest known breeding bird in the wild, and she's still going strong. Earlier this month, to international celebration, she hatched her newest chick.

Wisdom mates, nests and raises her young at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge at Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument near Hawaii. She and more than 3 million other seabirds depend on this protected land for their survival. Watch brand-new video of mama Wisdom and baby chick.

Sea cucumber

Wild & Weird: Sea Cuke Poop to the Rescue

There are more than 1,200 species of sea cucumbers in the world's oceans. These marine animals play an important role in recycling nutrients and, according to recent research, may even help protect corals from ocean acidification — it turns out their feces increase the pH of the water.

Check out our new video about sea cucumbers on Facebook and YouTube, and learn more from National Geographic.

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Photo credits: Yellowstone National Park by evamos/Flickr; borderlands jaguar Sombra courtesy BLM; Mexican gray wolves by wcdumonts/Flickr; Butterball factory farm by Mercy for Animals/Wikimedia; border wall at Nogales by steev/Flickr; Rubber Dodo courtesy Center for Biological Diversity; smokestacks by byrev/Pixabay; Laysan albatross Wisdom courtesy USFWS; sea cucumber by laura-kali/Flickr.

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