Polar Bears and Walruses Need Your Help
The Arctic’s polar bears and walruses are on the brink. Nevertheless, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering letting oil companies harass them in a climate-destroying quest for oil across millions of acres of Alaska’s Western Arctic and Beaufort Sea.
If the agency’s plan goes forward, seismic oil exploration will disturb the quiet of the tundra. Construction and operation of roads, pipelines, runways and wells will destroy habitat and cause harmful noise pollution. Rolling equipment could crush polar bears in their dens and scare off mother bears, leaving their cubs to starve.
Polar bears and walruses, already struggling to survive in the face of melting sea ice, shouldn’t have to face this noisy, dangerous onslaught.
Tell the Biden administration to deny this proposal and stop permitting drilling in the Arctic – for imperiled wildlife and our climate future.
Goldman Prize Honors Louisiana’s Sharon Lavigne
Sharon Lavigne has won a Goldman Prize, the environmental movement’s biggest annual award, for her fight to keep chemical plants out of her already polluted community of St. James Parish, Louisiana.
Cofounder of the environmental justice group RISE St. James, Lavigne stopped the proposed Wanhua plastics plant in 2019. She now leads an international campaign to stop Formosa Plastics from building one of the world’s biggest petrochemical complexes in her predominantly Black community.
“Sharon is in an intense, ongoing fight for the life of her community and our planet,” said the Center’s Julie Teel Simmonds. “Under the leadership of this amazing woman, we’re going to stop Formosa Plastics and advance environmental justice in this country.”
First Wolf Pups Born in Colorado Since 1920s
Colorado voters recently proved they care about gray wolves by passing a measure requiring their reintroduction by December 2023. Now the states has three new wolf pups — the first known pups born in Colorado’s wild in almost a century.
In the 1920s, the U.S. Bureau of Biological Survey worked to hunt, trap and poison every wolf in the state on behalf of the livestock industry. The federal government killed the last native-born Colorado wolf in 1945. One new wolf family isn’t enough, but it’s a step in the right direction — with more strides to come.
“These newborn pups will find a state that’s legally on the side of wolves and will soon import their future mates through reintroduction,” said the Center’s Michael Robinson. “Congratulations to these first-time parents and may the newborn pups live long, happy and prosperous lives in this land rich with elk and bunnies.”
Drilling Halted on 40K+ Acres of Sage Grouse Habitat
Ruling on a 2018 lawsuit by the Center and allies, a judge has decreed that the U.S. government illegally approved drilling and fracking on almost 404,000 acres in Wyoming and Montana. This area is key habitat for greater sage grouse — yet the Trump-era Bureau of Land Management failed to properly assess how oil and gas development could harm the rare birds. The Bureau’s actions ignored the species’ alarming population decline.
“This continues a long string of legal victories key to the survival of the imperiled greater sage grouse and the vanishing sagebrush ecosystem,” said Center lawyer Michael Saul. “This spectacular bird has been spared to dance another day across the Montana and Wyoming landscape.”
Rare Sunflower Protected Under Endangered Species Act
Following a Center petition and lawsuit, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Tuesday that the beardless chinchweed will receive protection under the Endangered Species Act. The Service also protected 10,604 acres in Arizona as critical habitat.
This rare sunflower is one of a dozen imperiled animals and plants threatened by the proposed Rosemont copper mine near Tucson, which would harm more than 145,000 acres of wildlife habitat. Fun fact: Beardless chinchweed is so named because unlike other species in its genus, it has no fine hairs fringing the base of its upper leaves.
EPA to Ban Dangerous Pesticide Propazine
After complying with a legal settlement won by the Center and allies, the Environmental Protection Agency has agreed to a one-year phase-out of the pesticide propazine. This endocrine-disrupting chemical works much like atrazine, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer and reproductive problems in humans and can chemically castrate frogs at very low concentrations. A year and a half ago, the EPA itself found that propazine likely harms or kills 64 endangered species, including the whooping crane and ocelot.
Said Center biologist Nate Donley, “This is a win for imperiled plants and animals and vulnerable people like farmworkers and young children, who bear the brunt of pesticide harms.”
Miwok Tribe Opposes Point Reyes Elk-Killing Plan
The Coast Miwok Tribal Council has called on Interior Secretary Deb Haaland to reject a federal plan to prioritize cattle ranching and kill tule elk at Northern California’s Point Reyes National Seashore. The Miwok are descendants of the original inhabitants of the region.
The plan would let the National Park Service slaughter native tule elk at ranchers’ request. It would also extend ranching and dairy leases, further desecrating Miwok archeological sites already damaged by private ranching.
We stand with the Miwok Tribal Council in our longstanding fight to preserve the natural environment of Point Reyes.
Developers Call Off World’s Largest Methanol Plant
In a big win against the plastic and climate crises, the company backing a controversial methanol plant has abandoned its plans, including a 3-mile pipeline to go with the refinery.
The $2 billion plant — planned for a site on the Columbia River near Kalama, Washington — would have turned fracked natural gas from Canada into methanol, which would then be shipped to China to make plastics. It would have been among Washington state’s top 10 greenhouse gas emitters. Methane is more than 25 times as potent as carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere.
The Revelator: Life After Wildlife Trafficking
International pressure to tackle the illegal wildlife trade has increased, resulting in more successful seizures of live wildlife. But what happens to animals rescued from wildlife trafficking?
Ideally a rescued animal is returned to its native habitat. But due to a lack of regulations, insufficient funding, limited capacity, corruption and other factors, that ideal often isn’t met.
Learn more at The Revelator and if you haven’t already, sign up for its free weekly e-newsletter.
8 Billion Angels: Join Us for Film and Discussion
The Center is teaming up with 8 Billion Angels, a documentary that explores how population growth is pushing the limits of the world’s natural resources. Watch the film for free at your convenience through June 24, and then join us for a Saving Life on Earth webinar on Thursday, June 24 at 4 p.m. PT / 7 p.m. ET.
The webinar will feature a discussion and Q&A with Terry Spahr, the film’s producer; Sarah Baillie, the Center’s population and sustainability organizer; and Nandita Bajaj, executive director at World Population Balance. We’ll learn how population pressure threatens oceans, land, wildlife, air and rivers — and about solutions to get back on track. Registration is required, so sign up and check your email for a link.
And there’s still time to join today’s webinar about our work to save Nevada’s plants and animals from extinction. It takes place at 5 p.m. PT / 8 p.m. ET (an hour later than usual) and features Patrick Donnelly, our Nevada state director.
Center Report: 1 Million Pandemic Power Shutoffs
More than 1 million household electricity shutoffs have happened in 17 states since the pandemic started, according to an updated Center analysis.
These findings come as legislation for a nationwide moratorium on utility shutoffs is under consideration in Congress.
Losing essential utilities can be a life-or-death issue, and disproportionately harms low-wealth communities and those of color. “We must ensure that struggling families have access to water, electricity and internet by imposing a nationwide shutoffs moratorium immediately,” said Greer Ryan, the report’s author and Center senior energy policy analyst.
That’s Wild: Beavers Aren’t Too Busy for Self-Care
The beaver isn’t just North America’s largest rodent. It’s also a master builder, hydroengineer and — based on video evidence — a serious proponent of self-care. Check out this beaver grooming, preening and scratching after a dip in a river at Utah’s Zion National Park. Watch on Facebook or YouTube and learn more about the ingenuity of beavers.
Center for Biological Diversity | Saving Life on Earth
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Photo credits: Polar bear cub by Alan D. Wilson/Nature's Pics Online; Sharon Lavigne courtesy Center for Biological Diversity; gray wolf pup by Joachim S. Müller/Flickr; greater sage grouse by Stephen Torbit/USFWS; beardless chinchweed flowers by Dr. Mark Fishbein; ocelot by jennicatpink/Flickr; chemical refinery by Melinda/Flickr; tule elk by Katie Booth/NPS; seized monkey courtesy INTERPOL; 8 Billion Angels poster; urban electric boxes by Curtis Gregory Perry/Flickr.
Center for Biological Diversity
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