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Greater sage grouse
Center for     Biological     Diversity   

Court Order Sought to Halt Destruction of Sage-grouse Habitat

The Trump administration is gearing up to allow drilling, mining and other destructive activities across 51 million acres of greater sage-grouse habitat in the West.

We're not about to let that happen.

That's why the Center for Biological Diversity and allies just asked a federal judge to block those plans in seven western states: Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Nevada, California and Oregon. Our motion argues that the land-management plans approved by Interior Secretary David Bernhardt last month would gut protections for the birds' dwindling populations and destroy their homes.

"Bernhardt's despicable plan is to open every last acre of sage-grouse habitat to fracking," said the Center's Randi Spivak. "He's stripping away critical protections, holding fire sales of our public lands and pushing these beautiful birds to extinction. We're asking the court to preserve sage-grouse protections until our claims can be heard."

Read more in Willamette Week.

Bald eagles

Our New Study: Success and the Endangered Species Act

There's a reason we're always talking about the Endangered Species Act: It works. A Center study published this week shows this crucial law has saved roughly 99 percent of protected wildlife since its 1973 creation.

Of the 1,700-plus animals and plants protected by the Act, just four species went extinct after receiving protection; 22 others are classified as possibly extinct. Another 71 are extinct or possibly extinct but were last seen before they were legally protected. The rest have avoided extinction.

"There's no question that without the Endangered Species Act, we would have lost species like bald eagles, California condors, black-footed ferrets and many, many more," said the Center's Noah Greenwald.

Read more in our press release.

Speak Up: Wolf Hearings in Sacramento, Portland and Denver

Gray wolf

The Trump administration has refused to schedule any public hearings on its plan to end wolf protections across most of the lower 48. So we’re holding our own.

The Center and allies are hosting rallies and meetings in Denver (April 29), Sacramento (May 2) and Portland, Ore., (May 6). Verbal and written comments at each hearing will be submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service during the official public comment period, which closes May 14.

Can you make it? RSVP for Denver, Sacramento or Portland.

The Revelator Interviews Environmental Justice Pioneer

Robert Bullard

A groundbreaking recent study found that U.S. black and Hispanic communities face a disproportionate amount of air pollution ... and that pollution is caused mostly by whites.

But the new data on this injustice doesn't surprise distinguished scholar Robert Bullard, an urban-planning and environmental-policy expert. He's been studying environmental racism for more than 40 years — long before it was even a term.

Read The Revelator's interview with Dr. Bullard and subscribe to the e-newsletter.

"Don't Shoot" event with Esperanza Spalding

Thanks to everyone who joined the Center and musician Esperanza Spalding Monday night for Don't Shoot, a Facebook Live performance. It was a fantastic evening for raising awareness about wolves. If you missed it, you can watch it here. And please consider making a donation to our Predator Defense Fund.

Siskiyou Mountains salamander

Suit Launched to Save West Coast Salamander

Siskiyou Mountains salamanders are purely terrestrial — their babies hatch fully formed, skipping the aquatic, larval stage. But these delicate, slow-breeding creatures live only in old-growth forests in southern Oregon and Northern California, where they're rapidly losing ground to logging and wildfire. And under the Trump administration, federal land agencies are pushing to log more of their vital habitat.

So the Center and allies launched a lawsuit Monday to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for failing to respond to our urgent 2018 petition to protect them.

"This rare salamander needs protection before it disappears forever," said the Center's Jeff Miller. "With the Trump administration dragging its feet on safeguarding this species, we have no choice but to go to court."

Read our press release.

Burning Man 2013

Center Op-ed: Burning Man Needs to Go Greener

Burning Man and its participants are duly concerned about proposed federal conditions for the annual event, says a Center op-ed in The Reno Gazette Journal. The Bureau of Land Management's call for concrete barriers, dumpsters and drug searches don't jibe with Burners' ethos of self-reliance.

But the festival may grow to 100,000 people, and the public lands of Nevada's Black Rock Desert are clearly vulnerable to damage. Litter, air pollution and the disruption of delicate ecological processes are all problems.

The BLM shouldn't use its environmental-review process to push punitive, arbitrary controls — but Burning Man also needs to accept that it may be getting too big for the Black Rock playa, and new rules may be necessary.

Read the op-ed now.

Great Pacific Garbage Patch

The oceans are so overwhelmed with plastic pollution that if the Great Pacific Garbage Patch were a country, it'd be the 19th largest in the world. Check out our new video on Facebook or YouTube.

Texas Population Growth Crowding Out Cranes, Lizards

Texas horned lizard

New U.S. Census Bureau data show that Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas, is the country's fastest-growing metro area, and Texas contains 4 of the 10 fastest-growing U.S. counties. That's bad news for local endangered species like whooping cranes and Texas horned lizards.

Texas also has one of the nation's highest unintended pregnancy rates and the highest rate of people lacking health insurance. "More reproductive freedom could yield big environmental benefits," said the Center's Kelley Dennings. Read more.

Walruses

Climate Refugee Deaths: Don't Turn Away

In the new nature documentary series "Our Planet," narrated by David Attenborough, one devastating scene shows walruses who've lost their sea-ice refuge struggling onto high cliffs to rest — and later plunging to their deaths below.

It's heartbreaking to watch the walruses fall. Netflix, which produced the show, warns it may be too upsetting for some. But we can't turn away, Center Climate Science Director Shaye Wolf writes at The Hill. With climate deniers running the country, it's more important than ever that we push hard to phase out fossil fuels and save the future.

When we ignore other creatures' suffering, says Shaye, we ignore our own. In the end, we are the walrus.

Read the op-ed now.

Herding a Florida panther

Wild & Weird: Endangered Cat Herding

Newly released body-camera footage from a Florida Fish and Wildlife officer shows wildlife agents engaged in a bit of cat herding. After discovering that an endangered Florida panther was trapped on the wrong side of a fence between the highway and a wildlife refuge, officers temporarily shut down the highway. Then — using their bodies, a truck and a call to "C'mon! Git!" — they slowly corralled the cat toward an opening in the fence, where it fled to safety.

Check out the body-cam video on Facebook or YouTube.

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Photo credits: Sage grouse by Alan Krakauer/Flickr; bald eagles by Keith Williams/Flickr; gray wolf pup courtesy CDFW; Dr. Robert Bullard courtesy Texas Southern University; Don't Shoot event courtesy Center for Biological Diversity; Siskiyou Mountains salamander by Seanin Og/Flickr; Burning Man 2013 by simmons-tx/Flickr; Great Pacific Garbage Patch graphic courtesy NASA; Texas horned lizard by tom spinker/Flickr; walruses by Christopher Michel/Flickr; video still courtesy Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.


Center for Biological Diversity
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Tucson, AZ 85702
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