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Trump Targets California, Arctic for More Drilling, Fracking

The Trump administration this week pushed ahead plans to open more than a million acres of public lands in central California to oil drilling and fracking. The move would end a five-year moratorium on leasing federal public land in the state to oil companies — won largely by the Center for Biological Diversity and allies.

Meanwhile Trump also took a major step toward opening Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve — the largest roadless area in the United States — to new, industrial-scale oil development. The project threatens polar bears, caribou and migratory birds in the ecologically rich reserve.

“We desperately need to keep these dirty fossil fuels in the ground,” said the Center’s Clare Lakewood. “But Trump is hell-bent on sacrificing our health, wildlife and climate to profit big polluters.”

Read more about what’s happening in California and the Arctic.

 

 

Tell Zinke: Hands Off the Endangered Species Act

In the latest assault on the Endangered Species Act, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has proposed radical changes that would gut the law, driving imperiled animals and plants closer to extinction.

The changes would weaken protections for hundreds of endangered animals and plants and the places they live, putting polar bears, borderlands jaguars and other species in even deeper peril than they already face. And hundreds of other species waiting for the Act’s protection — like monarch butterflies — would face existence-threatening delays or be denied safeguards altogether.

Please: Take a moment now to speak up for vulnerable plants and animals. Tell the Interior Department to immediately withdraw its disastrous proposals.

 

Revelator: The Lion-bone Trade

As if Trump letting trophy-hunters import dead lions weren’t stomach-turning enough, there’s something else just as disturbing going on behind the scenes.

As The Revelator reports, South Africa has 200-plus “lion farms” that raise the big cats to be shot by gun-toting tourists. The lions’ heads and skins become hunters’ “trophies,” while their skeletons are legally exported to Asia, where the bones are ground down to be used as “medicine” or as a wine component. How will this trade impact lions in the wild? Get the grisly details.

 

Brews for Bears: A Nationwide Call to Halt the Griz Hunt

Bear lovers nationwide this week turned up the heat on Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, calling for more protections for Yellowstone’s grizzlies — and to stop hunts planned next month in Wyoming and Idaho.

A huge thanks to those who showed up to more than 40 events on Tuesday as part of “Brews for Bears,” a national day of action organized by the Center’s Ignite Change. We’re working to stop grizzly trophy hunting this fall for more than 20 bears that wander out of Yellowstone National Park.

We’re also putting up billboards opposing the hunt and will have activists in Yellowstone later this month urging visitors to get involved.

Learn more.

 

Win for Oregon’s Plush-furred Humboldt Martens

Following a petition by the Center and allies, Oregon’s wildlife agency must draft rules to safeguard the state’s remaining Humboldt martens from trapping. Only about 200 of these forest carnivores survive in the state.

Humboldt martens are under review for federal and state Endangered Species Act protections, but until now Oregon allowed trapping for their gorgeous fur.

“We’re so glad Oregon’s tiny, fragile Humboldt marten populations will be protected from trapping,” said the Center’s Noah Greenwald. Read more.

 

Suit Launched Over Pesticides in National Wildlife Refuges

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has abruptly reversed a ban on the use of bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides and genetically modified, pesticide-resistant crops on national wildlife refuges.

The decision was made without assessing potential harm to protected species that live in refuges. That assessment is required by the Endangered Species Act — so the Center and allies filed a notice of intent to sue Wednesday.

“It’s shameful that the Trump administration is promoting greater use of highly toxic agricultural pesticides on wildlife refuges,” said the Center’s Hannah Connor. “These special places were set aside to protect America’s wildlife, not to protect agriculture practices that rely on dangerous pesticides known to harm animals.”

Read more in our press release.

 

Trump to Lease 54,000 Acres of Nevada’s Ruby Mountains

The Trump administration plans to lease 54,000 acres of Nevada’s Ruby Mountains that are under consideration for oil and gas development, according to records the Center obtained.

The land includes crucial winter habitat for mule deer, priority habitat for greater sage grouse, and creeks harboring the threatened Lahontan cutthroat trout.

“Trump is poised to destroy one of Nevada’s most spectacular places for the fossil fuel industry,” said Patrick Donnelly, Nevada state director for the Center. Read more.

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