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Northern spotted owl
Center for     Biological     Diversity   

The Trump administration is kicking its war on wildlife into a new gear.

This week the Interior Department proposed a rule that would effectively withhold most protections for any species that are added to the endangered species list and designated as "threatened."

In the past, "threatened" species were given the same protections as those designated as "endangered." The new proposal, quietly sent to the White House this week, will allow the Trump administration to decide on those protections on a case-by-case basis.

"It's hard to imagine the Trump administration ever doing anything that provides additional help for species that are flirting with extinction," said the Center for Biological Diversity's Noah Greenwald. "This proposal is a disaster in the making."

We'll be fighting back against this disastrous plan. Stay tuned on how you can help.

Mexican gray wolves

Win: Court Scraps Roadblock to Mexican Wolf Recovery

Good news for the Southwest's critically endangered Mexican gray wolves: A federal court has rejected parts of a 2015 rule obstructing their recovery. These provisions included capping the wolves' population and preventing them from occupying important habitat.

The court's ruling responds to a lawsuit filed by the Center and allies.

"This decision makes clear that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has to do more to protect and recover endangered Mexican wolves," said the Center's Andrea Santarsiere. "With only 114 of them left in the wild, the government cannot take a slow and incremental approach to recovery. We need more wolves in more places, including the Grand Canyon in Arizona and southern Rockies in New Mexico."

Read more in the Albuquerque Journal. This is the kind of victory that your donations support. Consider giving today.

Rare Mussel Wins Safeguards in Three States

Yellow lance mussels

Following a Center court victory, the Fish and Wildlife Service granted Endangered Species Act protection to the yellow lance, a freshwater mussel in Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia. Only seven populations survive, all threatened by pollution and climate change. We first petitioned to protect this lance-shaped bivalve in 2010.

"Protecting the yellow lance and its habitat will help all animals — and people — that need clean rivers," said the Center's Tierra Curry. Learn more in our press release and read this Revelator story about why mussel extinction sucks.

Automobile exhaust

Trump EPA to Weaken Car Pollution Standards

Fossil-fuel vehicles are the nation's largest source of greenhouse gas pollution, spewing emissions that drive climate change and cause serious illness. But that hasn't stopped Trump's Environmental Protection Agency from announcing plans to roll back tailpipe standards for cars and light-duty trucks.

"Loosening limits on tailpipe pollution spells disaster for our health and planet," said the Center's Vera Pardee. "Cleaning up our vehicle fleet is urgent and easily achievable, but Trump and Administrator Pruitt refuse to pick even this low-hanging fruit in the fight against climate change."

Automakers have lobbied the EPA to weaken the standards, arguing in part that they're hard to meet because consumers often buy larger, less fuel-efficient vehicles. Of course, automakers' big advertising budgets for gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs help jack up that massive demand.

Read more in our press release.

River Grande sewage

The Revelator: A Failure to Halt Sewage on the Border

The Trump administration has backed away from a decades-old treaty that protects people on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border from pollution and raw sewage. The consequences are predictable: more border communities, people and waterways put at serious risk.

The latest installment in The Revelator's "Border Betrayed" investigation takes a close look at the little-known International Border and Water Commission and its long struggle to fix vast and complicated infrastructure systems, including those meant to treat sewage, along the 2,000-mile border.

Read the story and don't forget to sign up for The Revelator's weekly newsletter.

Is Your Produce Sprayed With This Toxic Pesticide?


U.S. Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) has an important question for those who sell us produce: Is it being doused with chlorpyrifos, a pesticide associated with brain disorders in children and farmworker poisonings?

Udall has sent a survey to more than 80 grocery stores, food providers and restaurant chains asking whether their suppliers use this toxic pesticide.

Like Udall, we're keen to see the results. Last year EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt reversed a proposed ban on chlorpyrifos, despite growing scientific evidence of the risk it poses to people. Read more.

Diamondback terrapins

Win for N.Y. Turtles — Thank You

A new rule will better protect New York's diamondback terrapins — the only native turtles living exclusively in the state's estuaries — from drowning in crab traps. This rule follows decades of conservation groups' efforts, plus recent outcry from concerned individuals. Center supporters alone submitted more than 1,600 pro-turtle comments — thank you.

Crab trappers in the state must now use small, inexpensive "terrapin excluder devices" on their traps in most of diamondback terrapins' coastal New York habitat.

"It's a brighter day for New York's terrapins thanks to state wildlife officials listening to the public," said the Center's Elise Bennett. "Now these special turtles will have a chance to survive and recover in peace."

Read more in our press release.

Another Wildlife-killing Appointment by Trump

Susan Combs

Yikes. The Trump administration has quietly named Susan Combs — an outspoken foe of endangered species and a climate change denier — as acting assistant secretary for fish, wildlife and parks. Combs is a former Texas comptroller who wrested control of the state's endangered species program to her office. She now oversees the Fish and Wildlife Service and the endangered species it protects.

"Putting Combs in charge of the Fish and Wildlife Service is like appointing an arsonist as the town fire marshal," said the Center's Stephanie Kurose. Read more in HuffPost.


Tired of Him? Stand Up for HER

Trump has been undermining women's rights since his first day in office. Right after the historic Women's March in 2017, he signed an executive action to reinstate and expand the "global gag rule." This rule restricts access to international reproductive healthcare and puts women's lives at risk.

Trump's rule blocks nongovernmental organizations from receiving U.S. funding if they educate, provide, or give advice about where to get safe, legal abortions. That means clinics won't have the funds to provide preventative care. They also won't be able to help the 220 million women worldwide who want contraception but can't access it.

Fortunately there's a bill in Congress to overturn the rule. Tell your representatives to support the Global Health, Empowerment and Rights (HER) Act.

Rainbow mist

Wild & Weird: The Only Thing Better Than a Double Rainbow?

Take the first rays of morning light, mix 'em with high wind and California's Yosemite Falls, and what do you get? Answer: cascading rainbow mist.

Check out amazing footage of one of North America's most spectacular falls captured in rainbow light on the Center's Facebook, Instagram or YouTube — courtesy of Greg Harlow — plus on Instagram at @gregharlowmedia.

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Photo credits: Northern spotted owl by Tom Kogut/USFS; Mexican gray wolves by mtsofan/Flickr; yellow lance mussels by Sarah McRae/USFWS; automobile exhaust by rustybrick/Flickr; Rio Grande sewage by John Dougherty/Center for Biological Diversity; produce by aaronvandorn/Flickr; diamondback terrapins by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program; Susan Combs by Gage Skidmore/Flickr; protester by saudreypenven/Flickr; rainbow mist by Greg Harlow.

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