News from the Center for Biological Diversity
Endangered Earth – November 2020.
Trump Pushes Oil Industry for More Arctic Drilling
With his presidency now nearing its end, Trump is rushing through a process to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge’s coastal plain to lease for oil drilling.
The administration has invited oil companies to name the areas they’d like to drill in one of the nation’s most iconic and sacred landscapes. The Center for Biological Diversity joined Indigenous groups this week in condemning the move.
“On his way out the door, Trump is trying to lock in climate chaos and the extinction of polar bears and other endangered Arctic species. This is unconscionable,” said the Center’s Kristen Monsell. “The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge can’t be replaced, so we can’t let this president give it away to Big Oil.”
Learn more and speak up for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Tell the EPA: Choose Pollinators Over Poisons
We can thank pollinators like bees for 1 out of every 3 bites of food we eat. We owe a lot to them — and now they urgently need our help.
The Environmental Protection Agency is about to approve yet another toxic pesticide. Called tetraniliprole, it’s acknowledged by the agency to be “highly toxic” to bees and aquatic insects. This new approval for its use on many pollinator-attractive plants — including peppers, tomatoes, peaches, cherries and oranges — will likely fall to the next administration.
Roughly 40% of the world’s insects may be facing extinction. The last thing they need is another poison to contend with. Tell the EPA in the Biden administration to keep tetraniliprole off our food and away from our bees.
Legal Roundup: Montana, Wyoming and the Virginias
The Center’s legal work of the last few weeks has focused on protecting interconnected resources: habitat, climate, and clean air and water.
In Montana we filed a legal protest challenging a massive logging project that would clearcut thousands of acres — including old-growth trees — and threaten an imperiled population of grizzly bears and protected Canada lynx habitat.
In Wyoming we challenged a plan to approve the sale of fracking leases on 275,000 acres of public land. Fracking those leases would destroy habitat for greater sage grouse, worsen air quality and cause up to 43 million tons of climate pollution.
And an appeals court has sided with the Center and partners by issuing an immediate stay of Mountain Valley Pipeline’s stream and wetland crossing permits in northwestern West Virginia to southern Virginia: a win for both people and imperiled species.
Center Op-ed: What’s Next for Wolves
Gray wolves face an uncertain future after the Trump administration’s recent move to strip their Endangered Species Act protections.
But as the Center’s Collette Adkins writes in a new Chicago Tribune op-ed, President-elect Biden will now have the chance to break from the path taken by his predecessors. He can direct federal wildlife agencies to embrace a science-backed, full recovery of wolves in the lower 48 states.
And if Biden chooses instead to let the delisting to stand? Well, we’ve been in that fight before. Whatever comes next for wolves, we’ll be on the front lines to protect them.
Saving Humboldt Martens — New Hopes, New Threats
“Martens belong to the weasel family and look a bit like squirrels that have been stretched out and trained for battle: cute, but ferocious.”
That’s one of our favorite sentences from this engaging new article on the plight of Humboldt martens, secretive carnivores usually associated with old-growth forests. One marten population, however, has managed to survive in the sand dunes of Oregon in a tiny strip of shore pines.
Follow along as a conservationist and her marten-tracking dog sniff out these rare, fascinating little mammals. You’ll learn the latest on the species’ plight, including from the Center’s Tierra Curry, who’s helped lead our successful decade-long campaign to win federal protection for Humboldt martens.
Wild & Weird: Testing Facial Recognition for Bears
Silicon Valley developers have teamed up with biologists and conservationists to develop artificial intelligence software that can identify, with some success, the faces of individual bears. The app they developed, BearID, could one day be used to monitor the health of bear populations around the world.