We're Suing to Save These Ferocious Furballs

Endangered Earth Online: Your weekly wildlife update.
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American marten
Center for     Biological     Diversity   

We're Fighting for Humboldt Martens in Oregon, California

Humboldt martens are furry forest creatures related to minks and otters, once common in the coastal mountains of the Pacific Northwest. But now fewer than 400 of them survive. So the Center for Biological Diversity and our allies notified the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last week that we'll sue to force it to protect the secretive mammals.

The martens were proposed for protection a year ago and should've received it in October.

"Martens are the wild heart of our ancient forests, and we'll keep fighting until they're fully protected," said Tierra Curry, a Center scientist. "It's frustrating that the agency charged with protecting our wildlife keeps dragging its feet on safeguarding these very special little carnivores."

Read more in the Eureka Times-Standard and consider making a donation to our Endangered Species Act Protection Fund.

Los Angeles Youth Climate Strike

Youth Climate Strike in LA — An Amazing Outpouring

Friday was an incredible day in Los Angeles. Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg joined more than a thousand young people who flooded downtown as part of Youth Climate Strike LA. They called for global climate action and, in California, a halt to new oil drilling, safety buffers between homes and oil and gas sites, and a phase-out plan for oil and gas production.

The strikes, Thunberg told the Los Angeles Times, must continue to pressure politicians "to make sure they will not get away with continuing like this." She added: "The situation is just getting more and more absurd for every day that goes by without something real and drastic happening."

The Center was proud to support these powerful young people. And thank you to all who joined this important event. Read more.

St. Croix

Stop Zombie Oil Refinery in St. Croix

A massive oil refinery on St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands was shuttered in 2012 after paying millions in fines for violating the Clean Air Act. But now there are plans to bring it back to life — and this zombie refinery would spew millions of pounds of carbon dioxide and toxic chemicals into the air.

The pollution would sicken St. Croix residents, poison the air and water, hurt endangered corals and fish, and double down on fossil fuels just when the climate crisis demands we leave them behind.

Tell Trump's Environmental Protection Agency to protect the people and wildlife of St. Croix by denying this facility's permit.

Tiehm's buckwheat

Courtroom Roundup: Taking on Trump for Wildlife, Waters

In the past two weeks, the Center has launched multiple lawsuits against the Trump administration to defend the wild — bringing our anti-Trump lawsuit tally to 175.

We sued the Bureau of Land Management to protect Tiehm's buckwheat from mineral exploration and a proposed open-pit mine. This white-blossomed desert wildflower survives on only 21 acres of public land in Nevada's remote Silver Peak Range.

We sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to make it protect habitat for 14 endangered Hawaiian species that have been awaiting decisions for six years — a delay putting them at higher risk of extinction.

And we launched a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency for failing to protect Hawaiian waters being fouled by plastic pollution.

Sonoran Desert

Arizona Illustrated just profiled the Center as it turns 30. They joined us on a tour of the border wall and the proposed site of a copper mine in the Santa Rita Mountains. Watch the story on Facebook or at AZPM and learn more about why we fight to protect endangered species and wild places.

Woolsey Fire

Trump Quits Paris Accord

Shameful: President Trump on Monday submitted official notice of the United States' withdrawal from the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

The withdrawal process takes one year under the rules of the accord. It will be complete on Nov. 4, 2020 — one day after the 2020 presidential election.

"America is the number one historical contributor to the climate emergency," said Jean Su, energy director for the Center's Climate Law Institute. "Our next president will need to rejoin the accord immediately and commit to a rapid, wholescale clean-energy transformation."

Get more from The Guardian.

March Against Death, Louisiana

The Fight for Environmental Justice in Cancer Alley

The stretch of the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, known as "Cancer Alley," is one of the most polluted areas in the United States. Here hundreds of chemical plants spew toxic chemicals into predominantly black and poor communities — and state officials keep blithely approving permits for more polluting plants.

The Center, along with local and national allies, is fighting to stop new plants from being built in Cancer Alley — including a massive proposed plant by serial polluter Formosa Plastics.

Learn more about what's at stake in two new in-depth stories from Rolling Stone and ProPublica.


Take Action: Speak Up for Washington's Wolves

Washington's endangered wolves are nowhere near the recovery goals established in the state's wolf-management plan. Yet state wildlife officials are already working on a plan for after the wolves have been stripped of their state endangered species protection.

The state has invited the public to make suggestions about what should be in this plan. Let's remind it what our protected wolves really need: conflict resolution that doesn't depend on killing them — and a public-awareness campaign that supports their recovery.

Raise your voice for wild Washington wolves now. For greatest impact, please add your own words to our form letter.

California oil drilling

Trump Plans Oil and Gas on 1 Million More California Acres

The BLM hasn't issued a single new federal oil and gas lease in California since 2013, when a federal judge decided it had violated the law by issuing such a lease without considering fracking's environmental dangers.

But under President Donald Trump, the agency plans to open more than 1 million acres of public lands in central California to oil drilling and fracking, right after green-lighting fracking on 725,500 acres elsewhere in the state — a plan we've already challenged in court.

"Trump's plan to hand over a million acres in California to the oil industry is a despicable attack on our state's future," said the Center's Clare Lakewood. "We'll do everything possible to stop this."

Read more in Paso Robles Daily News.

Our Best Chance to Save Our Seas — and Ourselves

Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, Gulf of Mexico

In a new Revelator op-ed, conservationist and human-rights campaigner Steve Trent discusses a recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change showing that our oceans are stuck in a climate-change feedback loop. As CO2 levels rise, increasing the ocean's acidity, the ocean's capacity to absorb that CO2 falls.

What will save our seas? A Global Ocean treaty — which the United Nations is working on right now. Read the op-ed and subscribe to the Revelator's newsletter.

Physarum polycephalum

Wild & Weird: 'Le Blob' Makes It Big in the City of Light

Clocking in at a land speed of 1.6 inches an hour, Physarum polycephalum, a yellow, amorphous mass now on exhibit at the Paris Zoo, may not be speedy or pretty — or, say, have a brain. It's neither plant nor animal nor fungus, and closely resembles, some say, dog vomit.

But that hasn't stopped this slime mold from becoming the belle of the ball.

"Le Blob" can problem-solve — choose the quickest path through a labyrinth and remember to avoid noxious chemicals for more than a year. It has no fewer than 720 sexes, can heal itself when cut in two, and looks gorgeous under a microscope.

Name another zoo animal that can say the same.

Read more at CNN.

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Photo credits: American pine marten (closely related to the Humboldt marten) courtesy USFWS; Youth Climate Strike in Los Angeles by Braden Moran; St. Croix beach by pinelife/Flickr; Tiehm's buckwheat by Patrick Donnelly/Center for Biological Diversity; Sonoran Desert outside Tucson, Ariz., by Cybele Knowles/Center for Biological Diversity; Woolsey Fire by slworking/Flickr; March Against Death Alley courtesy Louisiana Bucket Brigade; wolf by Brandon Koger/Flickr; California oil drilling by Bob Wick/BLM; Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary in the Gulf of Mexico by G. P. Schmahl; Physarum polycephalum by Norbert Hülsmann/Flickr.

Center for Biological Diversity
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