Environmental Action http://environmental-action.org Thu, 22 Jun 2017 15:13:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 How NOT to Save Endangered Species http://environmental-action.org/action/how-not-to-save-endangered-species/ Tue, 20 Jun 2017 19:37:37 +0000 http://environmental-action.org/?p=3002 You wouldn’t turn off the firehose during a five-alarm inferno.

So why are some of our elected officials moving to eliminate lifesaving protections for some of our country’s most threatened and endangered species — even as scientists worry about mass extinctions on the horizon? 1

The threat to endangered species
We’re already in the middle of the worst extinction crisis in 65 million […]

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You wouldn’t turn off the firehose during a five-alarm inferno.

So why are some of our elected officials moving to eliminate lifesaving protections for some of our country’s most threatened and endangered species — even as scientists worry about mass extinctions on the horizon? 1

Polar Bear Mother and Cubs

Scientists say that polar bears could be extinct by the end of the century unless we take dramatic steps to save them.

The threat to endangered species

We’re already in the middle of the worst extinction crisis in 65 million years. 2 In 2015, The Washington Post reported that:

“[B]iologists found that the Earth is losing mammal species 20 to 100 times the rate of the past. Extinctions are happening so fast, they could rival the event that killed the dinosaurs in as little as 250 years. Given the timing, the unprecedented speed of the losses and decades of research on the effects of pollution, hunting and habitat loss, they assert that human activity is responsible.” 3

But even this grave threat hasn’t stopped some Members of Congress from proposing legislation that would put a five-year deadline on recovery for endangered animals, before exposing them to hunting, habitat destruction, and other threats. 4

The legislation 5 — introduced by Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Dean Heller — would eliminate vital protections for every single endangered animal listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) after that species has been on the list for just five years.

A rare Mexican Grey Wolf

Animals like the American southwest’s endangered Mexican gray wolves my lose protections under proposed legislation.

Imperiled species would only receive ESA protections if Congress voted individually to extend them on a case-by-case basis. Any newly endangered animals would require Congressional approval, turning each decision into a political football. 6

Even worse, the legislation would block any review by the courts. And state governors would get to unilaterally decide whether endangered species would even be protected within their borders. Right now, more than a thousand endangered species are only found in one state — meaning a single person would be able to decide if they go extinct or not. 7

The Endangered Species Act saves lives

The Endangered Species Act is one of America’s biggest environmental success stories. Since the ESA became law, 98 percent of the species listed as endangered have survived, including iconic animals like the American bald eagle and gray wolves. 8

But time limiting our efforts to rescue imperiled animals like these and eliminating the public’s ability to bring legal challenges when the government fails to protect them is a recipe for extinction. Our bald eagles needed 40 years on the endangered species list to recover. Humpback whales needed ESA protections for 36 years. And the recovery of peregrine falcons took 29 years. 9

The good news? It’s not too late to stop the terrible proposal and save wildlife at risk of extinction in the wild.

How you can help endangered species

We know that the planet is a better, more magical place with wild animals like polar bears and gray wolves. Preventing extinction is worth our effort and patience. But it doesn’t happen on arbitrary political deadlines.

Please send a letter to the editor of your local newspaper telling them that you think we should keep the Endangered Species Act as strong as possible.

Your letter today could make a big difference. Four in five Congressional staff members say that reading letters to the editors of local papers has “some” or “a lot” of influence in their office’s decision making. 10

Notes

1  McGill University. “We’re on the brink of mass extinction — but there’s still time to pull back,”  ScienceDaily, 31 May 2017.

2 “Earth is on brink of a sixth mass extinction, scientists say, and it’s humans’ fault,” Washington Post, June 22, 2015.

3 Washington Post, 2015. Ibid.

4 “Nevada Republican Seeks to Rewrite Endangered Species Act,” US News & World Report, April 29, 2017.

5 “S. 953 – Endangered Species Management Self-Determination Act,” US Senate. April 25, 2017.

6 Carpenter, Cassandra. “The Endangered Species Act: Uncertainty under Trump,” The Hill, January 27, 2017.

7 “A New Bill Could Completely Upend the Endangered Species Act,” NewsChannel5, April 30, 2017.

8 “Defining Success Under the Endangered Species Act,” Fish & Wildlife Service, Accessed May 12, 2017.

9 “Delisted Species,” Fish & Wildlife Service, Accessed May 12, 2017.

10 “Perceptions of Citizen Advocacy on Capitol Hill,” Congressional Management Foundation, 2011.

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Expanded Offshore Drilling Threatens Wildlife http://environmental-action.org/action/expanded-offshore-drilling-threatens-wildlife/ Thu, 15 Jun 2017 19:28:42 +0000 http://environmental-action.org/?p=2971 Do you love our oceans and marine wildlife like sea turtles, whales, and dolphins? If so, you need to know about the Trump Administration’s plan 1 to dramatically expand drilling off America’s coasts.

The plan is a backwards-looking proposal that could spell disaster for thousands of our most beloved and imperiled animals off our Atlantic Coast 2 — to say nothing of […]

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Do you love our oceans and marine wildlife like sea turtles, whales, and dolphins? If so, you need to know about the Trump Administration’s plan 1 to dramatically expand drilling off America’s coasts.

The plan is a backwards-looking proposal that could spell disaster for thousands of our most beloved and imperiled animals off our Atlantic Coast 2 — to say nothing of expanded drilling’s threat to Arctic polar bears and imperiled wildlife elsewhere. 3 4

Expanded offshore drilling threatens wildlife. An oiled turtles, following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster

Animals at Risk from Expanded Offshore Drilling

Offshore drilling operations often use seismic testing to find drilling sites, emitting massive sound blasts that wreak havoc with already-imperiled whales, sea turtles, dolphins, and other marine life. 5 More drilling would also increase the risk of deadly oil spills that can poison the water and hurt its wildlife.

Here are just a few of the animals threatened by expanded offshore drilling…

 

How You Can Help Wildlife

Take action. Sign Environmental Action’s petition against dangerous offshore drilling.

Spread the Word. Social media is a fantastic way to build support for protecting our whales, sea turtles, dolphins, and other animals who need clean oceans and unpolluted coasts. Please share this graphic with your friends, family, and neighbors on Facebook and encourage them to get involved too:

Notes

1 Federal Register, May 3, 2017.

2 U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Gulf of Mexico OCS Region. February 2014.

3 Alaska Dispatch News, Sept. 28, 2016.

4 Southern Environmental Law Center, 2015. Retrieved online June 14, 2017.

5 LiveScience, June 8, 2015.

6 The Pew Charitable Trusts, Sept. 1, 2013

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Do we still need the Environmental Protection Agency? Absolutely. http://environmental-action.org/blog/do-we-still-need-the-environmental-protection-agency-absolutely/ Thu, 08 Jun 2017 17:26:05 +0000 http://environmental-action.org/?p=2956 We’ve all been there. A casual dinner conversation turns to politics. Soon, a debate is raging — and we’ve lost a chance for a meaningful conversation about the issues that matter most.

Polls suggest that Americans are deeply divided on a range of issues [1] — and it’s easy to understand why so many of us are hesitant to bring up […]

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Bald Eagle (USFWS)

We’ve all been there. A casual dinner conversation turns to politics. Soon, a debate is raging — and we’ve lost a chance for a meaningful conversation about the issues that matter most.

Polls suggest that Americans are deeply divided on a range of issues [1] — and it’s easy to understand why so many of us are hesitant to bring up “political” issues with people who may not agree with us.

However, if there is an issue that should transcend political labels, it is maintaining a healthy environment. About three in four Americans believe that “the country should do whatever it takes to protect the environment,” according to a 2016 poll by the Pew Research Center. [2]

Americans of every political stripe deserve to be able to strive for health, happiness, and opportunity free from pollution. We owe it to future generations to protect our country’s spectacular wildlife and awe-inspiring natural beauty.

We need to talk (about the EPA)

Unfortunately, environmental protection — and specifically the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) — is far more controversial among the Trump administration and some Members of Congress.

For more than 45 years, the Environmental Protection Agency has safeguarded clean air and water, wildlife and wild places.[3] Now the president has proposed slashing the agency’s budget by nearly a third and its staff by nearly one-fifth. [4][5]

If enacted, the cuts could be disastrous. Programs aimed at cleaning up toxic Superfund sites across the country would be slashed by 25 percent. Federal funding for cleanup programs that help iconic places like the Chesapeake Bay, the Gulf of Mexico, Lake Champlain, Lake Pontchartrain and Puget Sound would be eliminated altogether. [6]

Speak out for the EPA

Just weeks ago, public outcry appears to have helped keep these cuts out of a bill to temporarily fund the government, but the threat remains. [7] Congress may yet approve the President’s devastating EPA cuts as part of the federal government’s budget for the new fiscal year, which starts October 1.

If we are going to protect our environment again, we need to forge a consensus where it counts — in our homes, workplaces, schools, social networks and communities. That’s where you come in.

You can help convince lawmakers to fully fund the EPA and its vital efforts to safeguard clean air and water, wildlife, and wild places. Just share some — or all — of the social media posts below and encourage your friends to get involved.

The Environmental Protection Agency has improved our environment.

Facebook

Twitter


The Trump Administration has targeted the EPA for dramatic budget and staff cuts.

Facebook

Twitter


We still need the EPA

Facebook

Twitter


Americans support environmental protection and the EPA.

Facebook

Twitter


Nature-loving Americans can save the EPA.

Facebook

Twitter



Notes

[1] “In the Trump Era, America Is Racing Toward Peak Polarization” New York Magazine, May 31, 2017.

[2] “For Earth Day, here’s how Americans view environmental issues,” Pew Research Center, April 20, 2017.

[3] “We Know What The Country Looks Like Without The EPA: Filthy,” The Huffington Post, Jan. 24, 2017.

[4] “Trump Budget Would Cut E.P.A. Science Programs and Slash Cleanups,” The New York Times, May 19, 2017

[5] “Trump’s Biggest Cuts: Demoralized EPA employees brace for ‘wholesale war on the environment’” Vice News, June 1, 2017.

[6] The New York Times, Ibid.

[6] “Lawmakers Gird for 2018 Fight as Budget Bill Retains EPA Funds,” Bloomberg BNA, May 2, 2017.

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2018 White House Budget: Bad for the environment http://environmental-action.org/blog/2018-white-house-budget-bad-environment/ Sun, 28 May 2017 13:15:21 +0000 http://environmental-action.org/?p=2916 More than 45 years ago, America made a commitment to a cleaner, greener future when Congress and then-President Richard Nixon brought the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) into existence.

The EPA has since become our nation’s most important champion for the clean air and water, wildlife, and wild places that make the US so special.

The Trump Administration’s 2018 budget plan — released […]

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More than 45 years ago, America made a commitment to a cleaner, greener future when Congress and then-President Richard Nixon brought the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) into existence.

The EPA has since become our nation’s most important champion for the clean air and water, wildlife, and wild places that make the US so special.

The Trump Administration’s 2018 budget plan — released earlier this week — could change all that. It proposes to cut the agency’s budget by nearly a third, slashing agency programs that are vital to the environment and public health. [1]

 

We know what the country looks like without the EPA. It’s not pretty.

By the 1960s, the need for the Environmental Protection Agency was obvious.

Oil derrick (Photo by Gene Daniels for the Environmental Protection Agency)

Ohio’s Cuyahoga River was so polluted that it caught fire in 1969. [2] Rampant use of DDT and other pesticides had already set the American bald eagle well on its way to extinction in the wild [3] And major cities across the country were choked with smog and other air pollution. [4]

Since then, the EPA has helped clear choking smog from the skies of major cities, kept dangerous pesticides from poisoning rare wildlife and pets, and largely eliminated the threat of acid rain to North American forests. [5]

Proposed EPA cuts in the 2018 White House budget would be devastating

The budget plan released this week would hobble efforts to protect nature and the environment. [6] It would slash federal funding for…

    • Federal enforcement of environmental laws by 40 percent;
    • State enforcement of environmental laws by 45 percent;
    • Federal clean water standards office by 50 percent; and
    • Superfund cleanup of toxic chemical spill sites that have become a public health hazard by 25 percent.

Unfortunately, the devastating cuts don’t end there. The administration’s budget plan would end Great Lakes, Chesapeake Bay, and Puget Sound cleanup programs.

It would also end the popular Energy Star program, which informs consumers which home appliances are most energy-efficient, and close the government’s energy innovation program and end many loan guarantee programs for renewable energy companies.

These budget cuts are a disaster in the making, and we need your help to stop them.

How you can help

        1. Take action now to save the EPA. {Link: } Urge your Member of Congress and Senators to reject proposed cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency.
        2. Share our video. Let your friends and neighbors know what’s at stake — and how they can help protect nature by opposing cuts to the EPA.

Notes

[1]  “EPA remains top target with Trump administration proposing 31 percent budget cut,” The Washington Post, May 23, 2017.

[2] Michael Rotman, “Cuyahoga River Fire,” Cleveland Historical, accessed May 26, 2017,

[3] US Fish and Wildlife Service, retrieved online May 26, 2017.

[4] “5 Reasons to Like the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency” National Geographic, December 9, 2016.

[5] Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved online March 22, 2017.

[6] “What Does Trump’s Budget Mean for the Environment?” The Atlantic, May 24, 2017.

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In defense of ugly food and an end to food waste http://environmental-action.org/blog/defense-ugly-food-end-food-waste/ Fri, 26 May 2017 18:16:57 +0000 http://environmental-action.org/?p=2901 It may not pretty, but it’s a common sense way to protect the environment. It’s “ugly” food — and if more retailers sold it (and more customers like us bought it), we could reduce wasted food and water and curb the use of pesticides that hurt wildlife.

 
Food waste is what’s really ugly — and environmentally harmful
Right now, 10 percent of […]

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It may not pretty, but it’s a common sense way to protect the environment. It’s “ugly” food — and if more retailers sold it (and more customers like us bought it), we could reduce wasted food and water and curb the use of pesticides that hurt wildlife.

 

Food waste is what’s really ugly — and environmentally harmful

Right now, 10 percent of the food produced in the U.S. is tossed out by retailers like Target before it can even be purchased. [1] But producing food that is ultimately thrown out consumes around one third of America’s freshwater. It needlessly wastes precious land and encourages the use of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizer that can harm fish and other wildlife. [2]

Target is one of the biggest retailers in America. It’s also part of a declining number of retail chains still throwing out perfectly good produce because of its appearance. Whole Foods, Walmart and other major retailers have begun efforts to reduce their food waste. [3] [4]

That’s why Environmental Action has launched our new campaign to convince Target to stop throwing out perfectly edible and nutritious food just because of its appearance. Can you help us convince the mega-retailer to change its ways?

How you can help

  1. Sign the petition to Target.  More than 40,000 nature-minded Americans have already added their names — will you sign too?
  2. Help us run ads to put Target’s food waste in the spotlight. Just a few dollars can help us reach thousands of Target shoppers and employees.
  3. Get local.  Download a letter and deliver it to the manager of your local Target on your next visit.

Notes

[1] National Public Radio, Sept. 25, 2014.

[2] Natural Resource Defense Council, “Wasted: How America Is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill,” 2012.

[3] National Public Radio, March 3, 2016.

[4] National Public Radio, July 20, 2016.

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Bears Ears National Monument: Newly Established and Imperiled http://environmental-action.org/blog/bears-ears-national-monument-newly-established-imperiled/ Fri, 19 May 2017 15:05:26 +0000 http://environmental-action.org/?p=2875 I envy Ryan Zinke.

Zinke heads the US Department of the Interior, and last week he toured Bears Ears National Monument, one of country’s newest national monuments. [1]

During the tour, Zinke had the chance to visit ancient and sacred Native American sites. He could take in the monument’s stunning vistas and awe-inspiring geological and historical features. And he may even have […]

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Bears Ears National Monument (Photo: (BLM)

I envy Ryan Zinke.

Zinke heads the US Department of the Interior, and last week he toured Bears Ears National Monument, one of country’s newest national monuments. [1]

During the tour, Zinke had the chance to visit ancient and sacred Native American sites. He could take in the monument’s stunning vistas and awe-inspiring geological and historical features. And he may even have seen some of the mountain lions, bighorn sheep, black bears, and other wildlife that makes its home within the boundaries of Bears Ears. [2]

Ryan Zinke just experienced one of America’s most gorgeous and enchanting places — but it is a unique and beloved place he may soon open to more destructive oil and gas drilling and other harmful development and exploitation.

What’s at Stake

Zinke travelled to Bears Ears as part of a national monument review ordered by President Donald Trump. [3]

Now the Secretary only has until June 10 to decide whether or not to reduce or eliminate protections for Bears Ears that were established late last year by former President Barack Obama. Nature-loving Americans have even less time to weigh in on the fate of Bears Ears — The Interior Department has requested all public comments before May 26! [4]

Rushing the comment period is disrespectful of public opinion. The monument review itself could lead to far more damaging and lasting consequences — for this special place and what it says about how we treat our natural heritage.

President Trump has been clear about his vision for Bears Ears, promising that his administration will “free it up, which is what should have happened in the first place.” [5] The vision directly aligns with the president’s push to promote more oil and gas drilling on public lands [6] — a move that could lead to more dirty drilling, disruptive road building, and destruction of important wildlife habitat within what is now Bears Ears National Monument.

National monuments like Bears Ears are supposed to protect lands and waters that are an irreplaceable part of the American story — not allow them to be scarred beyond recognition for generations by private development and the extraction of fossil fuels. That’s why Environmental Action has launched a national campaign to protect Bears Ears and other national monuments.

I hope Secretary Zinke enjoyed his time at Bears Ears National Monument. Now let’s make sure the rest of us can enjoy the natural beauty of this amazing place too someday.

How You Can Help Bears Ears

  1. Sign Our Petition for Bears Ears: Urge Secretary Zinke to maintain Bears Ears’ designation as a national monument — and the protections from development and exploitation that come with it.
  2. Donate to Our Three-Point Action Plan for National Monuments: The Trump Administration has ordered the review of 27 national monuments. We’re going to do our best to protect them all.

Notes

[1] “Battle Over Bears Ears Heats Up as Trump Rethinks Its Monument Status,” The New York Times, May 14, 2017

[2] “Gutting America’s National Treasures Is Unlawful and Unwise,” Time, March 31, 2017.

[3] “Here’s the list of 27 national monuments that Trump may eliminate,” The Wall Street Journal, May 5, 2017.

[4] “Some urge more public input as Bears Ears’ fate looms,” The Salt Lake Tribune, May 15, 2017.

[5] “Trump orders review of national monuments, vows to ‘end these abuses and return control to the people,’” The Washington Post, April 26, 2017.

[6] “Trump order could roll back public lands protections from 3 presidents,” CNN, April 26, 2017.

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Safeguarding Our National Monuments http://environmental-action.org/blog/safeguarding-national-monuments/ Thu, 11 May 2017 20:09:54 +0000 http://environmental-action.org/?p=2864 Do you have a special spot where you’ve returned year after year to camp with your friends and family? A beach where your children first dipped their toes in the ocean? A scenic view where you first realized the enduring beauty of nature?

We all have places that hold special meaning for us — and our nation is no exception.

In 1906, […]

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Do you have a special spot where you’ve returned year after year to camp with your friends and family? A beach where your children first dipped their toes in the ocean? A scenic view where you first realized the enduring beauty of nature?

We all have places that hold special meaning for us — and our nation is no exception.

In 1906, Congress passed The Antiquities Act, empowering President Theodore Roosevelt — and every US president since — to establish national monuments that safeguard the culture, history, and national treasures that define our country. [1]

Since then, US presidents have established more than 129 national monuments across the country to protect the rich legacy that is the birthright of every American. [2]

It is hard to overstate the importance of these monuments to our country — especially their value in preserving the wildlife, wild places, and nature that help make the United States great.

For instance, California’s Giant Sequoia National Monument protects some of the country’s most ancient and rare trees. The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument provides vital room for imperiled sea turtles, whales and other wildlife. [3] And the newly designated Bears Ears National Monument in Utah not only protects lands that are sacred to Native Americans — it also provides a home for black bears, bighorn sheep, and other western wildlife. [4]

Unfortunately, these and other monuments — along with the wildlife that makes it home on these lands — may soon be sacrificed to expand oil and gas drilling, mining, logging, and other disruptive and destructive development.

The Trump administration has given US Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke just a few weeks to consider the fate of up to 27 national monuments that have been established since the 1990s — 27 places that Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama declared were deserving of national monument protection due to their unique cultural and natural values [5]

In announcing the review, President Trump made his vision for national monument land clear:

“[W]e’re going to free it up, which is what should have happened in the first place.” [6]

The president’s order undermines a century of American commitment to preserving our nation’s natural and cultural heritage, directly contradicting the vision laid out by President Teddy Roosevelt, who established our country’s first national monuments:

“We have become great because of the lavish use of our resources. But the time has come to inquire seriously what will happen when our forests are gone, when the coal, the iron, the oil, and the gas are exhausted, when the soils have still further impoverished and washed into the streams, polluting the rivers, denuding the fields and obstructing navigation.” [7]

Our national monuments are worth protecting — which is why Environmental Action has launched our campaign to safeguard these special places. Will you help?

Three Ways to Help

  1. Sign the Petition. More than 20,000 Environmental Action supporters have already added their name to protect our national monuments. Have you?
  2. Spread the Word. Encourage your friends and family to take action, too.
  3. Donate to Support Our Work. Your contribution will enable us to carry out a three-point plan to defend these unique and beautiful places.

Notes

[1] Theodore Roosevelt Center, retrieved online May 11, 2017

[2] Wikipedia, retrieved online May 11, 2017

[3] The Wilderness Society, retrieved online May 9, 2017.

[4] “Here are the national monuments being reviewed under Trump’s order,” The Los Angeles Times, May 5, 2017.

[5] “27 national monuments may have protections cut or curtailed under Trump’s review,” The Chicago Tribune, May 6,2017.

[6] “Trump orders review of national monuments, vows to ‘end these abuses and return control to the people,’” The Washington Post, April 26, 2017.

[7] National Parks Service, Retrieved online April 26, 2017.

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America’s Wolves Face an Uncertain Future http://environmental-action.org/blog/americas-wolves-face-uncertain-an-uncertain-future/ Fri, 05 May 2017 18:41:23 +0000 http://environmental-action.org/?p=2856

These are precarious times for America’s gray wolves.

Wolves were once hunted and trapped to near extinction in the continental US, but healthy wolf populations can again be found around the Great Lakes and in the Northern Rockies. [1]

Trucked from Canada, wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in the mid 1990s after being nearly hunted and trapped to extinction in […]

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These are precarious times for America’s gray wolves.

Wolves were once hunted and trapped to near extinction in the continental US, but healthy wolf populations can again be found around the Great Lakes and in the Northern Rockies. [1]

Trucked from Canada, wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in the mid 1990s after being nearly hunted and trapped to extinction in the wild in the Lower 48 United States. In the years since, these animals have flourished. [2]

Wolves may be villainized in old stories and folktales, but they actually play a vital role in maintaining healthy ecosystems. They prevent overgrazing by elk and deer that can damage aspens, cottonwoods and shrubs that provide habitat for birds and maintain the natural flow of streams and rivers. [3]

Unfortunately, the future of these iconic animals is far from certain.

Congress is now considering legislation to eliminate the lifesaving protections grey wolves now enjoy under the Endangered Species Act. Expanded energy development on public lands could also limit wolf habitat, making survival more difficult. [4]

How You Can Help

To protect these quintessentially American animals, Environmental Action has launched a new wolf defense campaign.

Already, we’ve mobilized thousands of people to contact Congress and speak out in defense of these important and often misunderstood animals. However, wolves remain threatened — and we need your help to defend them.

You help ensure a brighter future for America’s wolves. Please donate now to support our work.

Notes

[1] IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved online May 2, 2017.

[2] “The New Threat to Wolves in and Around Yellowstone,” The New York Times, May 1, 2017.

[3] “Before and After Wolves,” National Geographic, March 10, 2010.

[4] “Trump’s Presidency Means the End of Wolves in the American West,” Outside, Jan. 19, 2017.

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After Pro-Science and Climate Action Marches, What’s Next? http://environmental-action.org/blog/after-pro-science-and-climate-action-marches-whats-next/ Thu, 04 May 2017 15:45:03 +0000 http://environmental-action.org/?p=2841

You’ve signed the petitions. You’ve seen the marches. And you’ve read the inspiring — and often hilariously clever — protest signs.

Thanks to you and millions of nature-loving Americans across the country, 2017 has seen a dramatic surge in regular people speaking out to safeguard clean air and water and preserve our precious wildlife and wild places.

This past weekend, hundreds […]

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You’ve signed the petitions. You’ve seen the marches. And you’ve read the inspiring — and often hilariously clever — protest signs.

Thanks to you and millions of nature-loving Americans across the country, 2017 has seen a dramatic surge in regular people speaking out to safeguard clean air and water and preserve our precious wildlife and wild places.

This past weekend, hundreds of thousands of Americans took to the streets from Tucson, Arizona to Titusville, Florida, Denver, Colorado, Los Angeles, California, Chicago, Illinois, New York City, and Washington, DC. [1]

The People’s Climate March followed Science Marches in hundreds of cities around the world just one week earlier. At the Science Marches, scientists and other science supporters spoke up for clean air, clean water, wild creatures and places — and in favor of funding and listening to the scientific research that can help the planet thrive. [2]

But these marches are just one way that people like you are showing how much you care about the environment.

This year, supporters of Environmental Action have deluged federal officials and lawmakers with calls and emails on issues ranging from proposed cuts to funding and staff for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), national monuments, and harmful offshore new drilling.

And you know what? It looks like lawmakers may be getting the message on at least one key environmental issue.

This past weekend, lawmakers approved legislation funding the federal government through September. The Trump Administration has proposed slashing the EPA’s budget by nearly a third and reducing its staff by roughly one quarter; however, Members of Congress largely protected the EPA’s budget in this weekend’s agreement on federal spending. [3]

Whether the spending agreement marks a turning of the tide in the effort to preserve safeguards for America’s natural treasures — or a just a temporary reprieve — remains to be seen. One thing is certain, though: we can only succeed with your help.

Three More Ways to Help

To protect nature, we need to do more than march. We need to remain informed and engaged — and continue speaking out for the environment.

  1. Stay Informed. You can be a champion for America’s clean air and water, wildlife and wild places. Follow Environmental Action on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news, breaking action alerts, and shareable content to help build our movement for nature.
  2. Take Action. If you haven’t already done so, take action to:
    Ensure the EPA has the resources it needs to keep working for a cleaner, greener world;
    Oppose harmful new offshore drilling that threatens sea turtles, whales, dolphins, and other wildlife.
    Safeguard special places like Utah’s gorgeous Bears Ears National Monument.
  3. Support Our Work. Make a donation to help us mobilize Americans in defense of the the Environmental Protection Agency.

More Photos from the Marches

Marching for the Environment

Notes

[1]“Climate marches draw thousands nationwide,” Boston Globe, April 29, 2017.

[2] “Dallas joins over 600 cities in global ‘March for Science,’” Dallas News, April 22, 2017.

[3]“How science fares in the U.S. budget deal,” Science News, May 1, 2017.

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The Great Monarch Massacre (and What You Can Do to Stop It) http://environmental-action.org/blog/2837/ Mon, 06 Feb 2017 23:46:57 +0000 http://environmental-action.org/?p=2837 Growing up in south central Kansas in the 1980s, I used to marvel at the elegant beauty of the monarch butterflies each spring as they migrated north.

Sometimes I’d sit motionless in the tallgrass prairie, quietly hoping one would choose to rest on my outstretched hand. More often, though, I’d race after these black and orange-winged butterflies, laughing as I tried […]

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Growing up in south central Kansas in the 1980s, I used to marvel at the elegant beauty of the monarch butterflies each spring as they migrated north.

Sometimes I’d sit motionless in the tallgrass prairie, quietly hoping one would choose to rest on my outstretched hand. More often, though, I’d race after these black and orange-winged butterflies, laughing as I tried in vein to catch one.

Sadly, the sight of monarchs flitting above the prairie is far more rare these days.

Monarch Butterfly. Source: Flickr user SidPix.

Monarch Butterfly. Source: Flickr user SidPix.

Threats to Monarch Butterflies

One billion monarchs once fluttered across North America, but disappearing habitat, climate change, pesticides, and other threats reduced their numbers to just 56.5 million by 2015. (1) In fact, researchers have documented a decline of more than 80 percent in the number of monarchs in central Mexico and 74 percent in coastal California. (2)

The monarch’s dramatic decline is not only a profound loss of natural beauty — it also has serious implications for our environment. Monarchs play an increasingly important role in pollinating wild flowers and other plants and are an important food source for many birds. (3)

While monarch numbers have rebounded slightly in recent years thanks to increased awareness of their plight, proactive efforts by the federal government and private landowners, this beautiful butterfly’s ultimate fate is far from certain.

Monarchs need milkweed to survive. Unfortunately, widespread use of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide has destroyed much of the milkweed that monarchs need to survive. (4) But Roundup is just one of the threats these vital pollinators face. Commonly used pesticides can unintentionally kill these butterflies. Harsh winters have caused larger than usual die-offs. And logging — legal and illegal — has deprived monarchs of winter habitat. (5)

How You Can Help Save Monarch Butterflies

Monarch butterflies have a special and vital place in our ecosystems — and in our hearts. To ensure that these beautiful creatures are around for future generations to enjoy, we must safeguard their future.

In 2015, then-President Obama’s administration announced an ambitious plan to protect monarchs (6), but more action is needed. (7) That’s why Environmental Action has joined with conservation advocates across America to urge the federal government to protect monarch butterflies under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

Listing monarch butterflies under the ESA is the single best way to ensure the survival of these butterflies. It will protect monarchs from pesticides and herbicides that can harm them and safeguard the vital feeding and breeding habitat monarchs need to survive.

You can help save our monarch butterflies — just click here to add your name to our petition urging the federal government to protect monarch butterflies under the Endangered Species Act.

With your help, we can help monarchs recover — and restore an inspiring source of natural beauty for children of all ages.

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(1) US Fish and Wildlife Service, Nov. 3., 2016. https://www.fws.gov/savethemonarch/done­this­before.html
(2) The Xerxes Society, retrieved online Feb. 2, 2016 http://www.xerces.org/monarchs/
(3) One Green Planet, Jan. 28, 2015 http://www.onegreenplanet.org/environment/how­the­butterfly­can­shape­an­ecosystem­and­why­we­nee d­to­protect­them/
(4) Yale Environment 360, April http://e360.yale.edu/features/tracking_the_causes_of_sharp__decline_of_the_monarch_butterfly
(5) The Xerxes Society, Ibid.
(6) The Washington Post, May 21, 2015. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning­mix/wp/2015/05/21/the­white­house­plan­to­save­the­mo narch­butterfly­build­a­butterfly­highway/?utm_term=.5ce299cc91fd
(7) The Center for Biological Diversity, March 10, 2016 https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2016/monarch­butterfly­03­10­2016.html

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