38 Hawaiian Species, 271,000 Acres to Earn Protection
Great news (or maika'i nui loa
on the Hawaiian islands) for 38 of Hawaii's most imperiled plants and
animals: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Friday proposed to
protect 35 plants and three tree snails under the Endangered Species
Act. The decision is thanks to the Center for Biological Diversity's
landmark 2011 settlement requiring speedy decisions for 757 species. The
agency also proposed protecting 271,000 acres of "critical habitat" for
these 38 species and 97 others that are already protected.
The plants proposed for protection are a stunning variety of colorful
geraniums, sunflowers, bellflowers, vines, shrubs and trees -- with
colorful Hawaiian names, like the hala pepe, popolo, kookoolau,
awikiwiki and haha nui. The snails are found only on wet cliffs, where
they eat fungus and algae; all 38 plants and animals are threatened by
habitat loss and invasive species like feral pigs and rats. The Center
petitioned to protect 20 of the 38 species back in 2004.
Get more from the Courthouse News Service and learn about the historic 757 species agreement we reached last July.
6,500 Acres Protected for Mississippi Gopher Frog
response to a lawsuit by the Center for Biological Diversity, the
Mississippi gopher frog -- a chubby, dark-spotted little amphibian
federally protected in 2002 -- was just granted protected "critical
habitat": a whopping 6,477 acres. That's three times larger than what the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed in 2010.
This critically endangered gopher frog is known to consistently breed in
only one pond in the world, in Mississippi's DeSoto National Forest. A
settlement called "Tradition," which would be home to 35,000 people, is
proposed for the area; the Center is in talks with its developer to make
sure the gopher frog survives.
"Critical habitat provides essential information to landowners and
managers, who then often work to find creative ways to ensure the
habitat is protected," said the Center's Noah Greenwald. "You simply
can't throw a lifeline to endangered species without protecting the
places they live."
Read more in The Republic and learn about saving the Mississippi gopher frog.
Two Florida Cities Join Dozens in Clean Air Campaign -- Help Yours Be Next
cities in 16 states have now joined the Center for Biological
Diversity's Clean Air Cities campaign with the addition of Tampa and
Gulfport, Fla., last week. Both cities passed resolutions June 6 urging
President Obama and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to use the
Clean Air Act to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide in order to stave off
catastrophic climate change.
These two newest members of the campaign are important because
low-lying, peninsular Florida has much to lose from sea-level rise and
other impacts of climate change. The Florida cities join Seattle,
Pittsburgh, Chicago and a score of others calling for action on the
If you're not already a resident of one of our Clean Air Cities, become one
by leading your community in joining this nationwide movement. We'll
support you every step of the way. And you can check out our "Clean Air States" map showing all states that boast Clean Air Cities.
Lawsuit Launched to Save Arizona's Unique Bald Eagles
for the third time, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service took Endangered
Species Act protection away from Arizona's irreplaceable desert-nesting
bald eagles, even though only about 200 remain on Earth. So on June 11,
along with a partner, the Center for Biological Diversity launched a new
lawsuit to bring back the precious eagles' protection.
The Center has fought for the survival of these desert nesters since
2004, when we first petitioned to protect them as a "distinct population
segment." Uniquely adapted to a hot and dry environment, where no other
American eagles survive, the desert dwellers must have federal
protection to save them from habitat destruction and off-road vehicles.
Get more from KNAU Arizona Public Radio and learn about saving the desert nesting bald eagle.
Lawsuit Filed to Stop Clear-cutting of Redwoods for Sonoma Vineyard
stop a Spanish corporation from clear-cutting 154 acres of redwood
forest to plant wine grapes in Sonoma County, Calif., the Center for
Biological Diversity and our local partners sued the California
Department of Forestry and Fire Protection last week for violating state
law when it approved the "forest conversion" project. Turning redwoods
into vineyards would worsen climate change, damage water quality and
harm habitat for wildlife including endangered salmon and steelhead.
"Clear-cutting forests to plant vineyards is foolish and shortsighted," said the Center's Justin Augustine.
Check out our press release and learn about our campaigns to save forests.
Ruling Saves Death Valley Wilderness From Would-be Road
victory for a desert ecosystem that supports 2,500 native species, the
Center for Biological Diversity and allies defeated an Inyo County,
Calif. plan to turn a wash in the Last Chance Mountains of Death Valley
into a highway. The county tried to use a repealed, Civil War-era
right-of-way law called R.S. 2477 to bypass National Park Service
authority -- even though only one person could remember operating a
vehicle on the "road" before 1977, and even he couldn't remember
legitimate road features.
In his decision, Judge Anthony Ishii cited the film Field of Dreams
in throwing out the imaginary road: "If nobody built it, and nobody
came, it was never there." This victory protects cougars, deer and
badgers that roam the still-wild Last Chance Mountains.
Read more in our press release and learn about our work to protect the Mojave desert.
Center Wins "Best in America" Seal of Approval
never like to brag, of course, but the Center for Biological Diversity
just won the "Best in America" Seal of Approval, awarded by Independent
Charities of America and Local Independent Charities of America to
members that have, upon rigorous independent review, been able to
certify, document and demonstrate every year that they meet the highest
standards of public accountability, program effectiveness and cost
effectiveness. Only about 2 percent of the 1 million charities now operating in the United States meet or exceed Seal of Approval standards.
And we couldn't do our work without you, our supporters. Thanks so much.
Learn more about Independent Charities of America.
World Sea Turtle Day Is Coming -- Take Action for Oceans
turtles are some of the most amazing creatures on Earth. Leatherback sea
turtles, as ancient as the dinosaurs, are the planet's heaviest
reptiles and are unmatched by other turtles in their diving skills.
Loggerheads migrate more than 7,500 miles, across an entire ocean, to
feed and breed, and the hawksbill can reportedly lay up to 250 eggs. To
top it off, sea turtles can live at least 80 years and in all oceans of
the world (except in the polar regions).
Hence World Sea Turtle Day. Coming up this Saturday, it's a day to
celebrate and help save these beautiful creatures, which face incredible
threats to their survival, including commercial fisheries, pollution,
food-source depletion, warming oceans and ocean acidification. The
Center for Biological Diversity's been working for years to save sea
turtles of all stripes (we won 40,000 square miles of protected habitat
for Pacific leatherbacks earlier this year), and there's plenty more
work to be done.
Take action now for sea turtles and all ocean life threatened by ocean acidification, and then learn about the Center's campaigns to save leatherback and loggerhead sea turtles.
Wild & Weird: GOP Draws Line in Soon-to-be-underwater Sand
recent report by a North Carolina science panel predicts coastal sea
levels will rise by more than three feet by 2100 -- a damning
calculation for a state tied up with an environmentally devastating, but
financially lucrative, coastal development boom. But have no fear:
State Republicans have hit upon an answer. They've made scientific
predictions of climate change and rising tides not only inconvenient
but, er, illegal.
A new state bill, House Bill 819, would address the crisis predicted by climate models by outlawing -- no, not CO2 emissions -- the climate models themselves.
If passed, the bill will make it illegal for North Carolina to consider
scenarios of accelerated sea-level rise due to global warming. GOP
lawmakers want the state to only consider models based on a steady rate
increase drawn from historical numbers over the past one hundred years.
Climate change solved! Phew. That was close. Now North Carolina's
sensitive coastal habitats -- saved from encroaching seas by the
criminalization of science -- are ready for continued devastation by
Read more in Grist, then treat yourself to Stephen Colbert's razor sharp Word on the matter.