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White_River_Utah

 

By Bryan Bird,

WildEarth Guardians,

Cross posted from the WildEarth Guardians website

 

Outstanding. More than 200 miles of it!

Last week WildEarth Guardians secured the very best protection possible under the Clean Water Act for more than 200 miles of headwater streams of the Colorado, White and Yampa Rivers.

The victory means that these newly designated “outstanding waters” will remain pristine—now and forever.

It also means that Colorado’s cutthroat trout will have a better chance to survive rapidly changing climate conditions because of the added degree of security. And it means that these waters can’t be polluted by activities like fracking, mining, logging and cattle grazing.

The Colorado Water Quality Control Commission approved the “outstanding waters” designation for critical cutthroat trout streams in roadless national forests on the White River National Forest. The downstream communities of Carbondale, Meeker and Craig will also benefit by having source water for drinking water supplies protected by the designation.

The commission supported our proposal for outstanding waters by a vote of 8 to 1, and so too did thousands of our members in Colorado and across the nation—we thank you too!

Outstanding. It’s what we won and it’s how we feel.

And we’re going to keep fighting to secure similar victories for wild forests, pristine waters and native trout all across the American West.

 

For the Wild,

WildEarth Guardians, portraits, jpeg org hourglassfilm@gmail.com

Bryan Bird

Wild Places Program Director

WildEarth Guardians

bbird@wildearthguardians.org

 

To visit the WildEarth Guardians website, click here.

 

Top photo: “As a work of the United States Government, the image is in the public domain.” /The White River flows through Colorado and Utah.

 

Second photo: Courtesy of WildEarth Guardians / Bryan Bird

 

 

 

 

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By Jeremy Nichols, Climate and Energy Program Director,
 WildEarth Guardians

It’s another victory for clean energy and our communities scored by WildEarth Guardians’ legal efforts.

This time, it’s a big one: a coal-fired power plant shut down.

That’s according to the terms of an agreement we reached with a utility in southeast Colorado, which in 2009 converted a natural gas-fired power plant to coal.

As the Denver weekly, Westword, put it, it’s a “stunning defeat for the beleaguered coal industry.”
The settlement resolves nearly four years of litigation over clean air violations at a troublesome coal-fired power plant in the eastern Colorado town of Lamar.

It also puts at ease the minds of residents and WildEarth Guardians’ members, Shirley and Charles Warren, who have had to deal with the coal-fired power plant threatening the air they breathe and the sanctity of their community.

Fortunately, we were able to strike a deal with the utility that both resolved the issues at the coal-fired power plant and gave them a chance to find a better way to power southeastern Colorado.

This is a major victory and a clear sign of the effectiveness of our tactics.  Most importantly, it’s a testament to the power of your support.  Thank you so much.

For our climate and our communities, here’s hoping for more success to come.

For Clean Skies,

Staff_Photo_Jeremy_Nichols_r.1

Jeremy Nichols

Climate and Energy Program Director

WildEarth Guardians

jnichols@wildearthguardians.org

To visit the website of WildEarth Guardians, click here

Top photo: © Sharon St Joan / Clean air, rocks and trees at Zion’s National Park, 2012.

Second photo: Courtesy of WildEarth Guardians / Jeremy Nichols.

500px-Lesser_Prairie_Chicken,_New_Mexico

By Taylor Jones, WildEarth Guardians

(Reposted from WildEarth Guardian’s newsletter, without the internal links.)

 

These amazing little western grouse have waited over a decade for the much-needed protections of the Endangered Species Act. The imperiled lesser prairie-chicken has already lost 90 percent of its historic habitat and its population is only 15 percent of what it once was.  Tell the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service you support giving these fascinating birds the full protection of the law! Comments are due on the 20th, so make your voice heard now!

Lesser prairie-chickens are famous for their mating dance, when they show off their bright yellow eye combs, inflate red air sacs on their necks, and spar in mid-air. In celebration of their proposed listing, which may at last furnish them with strong legal protections, they are doing the “Safety Dance!”

The lesser prairie-chicken’s amazing displays aren’t protected yet, though. The Service also proposed a “special rule” that would allow habitat destruction to continue in certain cases, potentially allowing weaker state plans or conservation agreements to supersede the ESA.  The Service may even allow hunting of lesser prairie-chickens, or the “incidental take” of the birds during the hunting season for their cousins, the greater prairie-chicken. These exceptions are entirely inappropriate for a species facing so many threats, including oil, gas, and wind energy development, collisions with fencing, drought, overgrazing by livestock, and habitat fragmentation.

Help put safety first – let the Service know you support the strongest ESA protections for the lesser prairie-chicken and oppose any “special rule” that would undermine their survival and recovery.  Advocate for these intriguing birds – help keep them safely dancing!

 

For the Wild,

Staff_Photo_Taylor_Jones_r.1

Taylor Jones

Endangered Species Advocate

WildEarth Guardians

tjones@wildearthguardians.org

 

To sign the letter, on the WildEarthGuardians website, on behalf of Lesser Prairie Chickens, click here.

 

Photo: Wikimedia Commons / “This image was originally posted to Flickr by Larry1732 at http://flickr.com/photos/22191277@N03/5644328619. It was reviewed on 24 April 2011 by the FlickreviewR robot and was confirmed to be licensed under the terms of the cc-by-2.0.” / “A Lesser Prairie Chicken (male) in new Mexico.”

 

 

 

 

A Mexican wolf

A Mexican wolf

From the Frontline Newsletter, WildEarth Guardians

 

WildEarth Guardians welcomes the release of a captive-bred, 4-year-old male, called M1133, to the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest of Arizona. The release of M1133 marks the first liberation of a captive wolf since 2008. We hope he will mate with the lone alpha female of the Blue Stem pack—if he can find her in time for the breeding season. (Her previous mate was illegally shot last year.) M1133 is one of less than 60 lobos remaining in the wild that are up against some difficult foes, primarily the livestock industry and some hunters. WildEarth Guardians is working to buy out ranchers, releasing their grazing permits thereby giving Mexican wolves more freedom to roam.

 

 

To visit the website of Wild Earth Guardians or help with a donation, click here.

 

Photo: © Glenn Nagel | Dreamstime.com

 

 

By: John C. Horning, Executive Director, WildEarth Guardians

On September 10, 2012, WildEarth Guardians and partners filed papers initiating our lawsuit to overturn a decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove wolves in Wyoming from the Endangered Species Act.

It’s the last option we have to prevent the slaughter of Wyoming’s wolves. Please support our Wolf Legal Defense Fund (see the link below) to help us stop the killing.

If the Service’s decision is allowed to stand, people in Wyoming could trap, hunt, bait and pursue wolves to their death throughout most of the state. And it all starts in a few weeks.

We simply can’t allow this to happen. We need to reverse the decision and return wolves in Wyoming to federal protection. Your support of our Wolf Legal Defense Fund will enable us to take swift and strong action to save wolves.

The Wyoming “wolf elimination plan” allows wolf killing every day of the year in over 80 percent of the state. Many of Wyoming’s current population of approximately 330 wolves will die this winter unless we strike down this plan.

The state intends to allow only 100 wolves to survive outside of Yellowstone National Park and the Wind River Reservation, but it has no way of tracking wolf numbers.

Wyoming’s wolf plan is driven by politics, not science. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar approved the plan to appease his friends in the Congressional Cowboy Caucus.

It’s not about livestock. Less than one half of one percent of livestock are killed by wolves.

It’s not about hunting elk. Wyoming’s elk population is 24 percent over its objective of 85,000 animals. The 2010 count reported 104,000 elk in the state.

It’s about intolerance and hate.

We must stand up to a small minority that want to eliminate wolves. We must ensure that an ethic of compassion and coexistence ultimately prevails. Our first step is to defend these beautiful animals in the court of law and in the court of public opinion.

Please help us prevent the Wyoming wolf slaughter by supporting our Wolf Legal Defense Fund today.

For the Wolves,

John C. Horning

Executive Director

WildEarth Guardians

jhorning@wildearthguardians.org

To visit the web page Wolf Legal Defense Fund, click here.

Photo: © Saipg | Dreamstime.com

Crossposted with permission from WildEarth Guardians:

Last week, WildEarth Guardians filed suit to stop a horrendous climate catastrophe  from unfolding in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming: Four new coal leases that would expand the world’s largest coal mines, leading to the release of more than 3.5 billion metric tons of carbon pollution.

But as powerful as our legal efforts are, we need your help to reverse the disastrous course we’re on. Sign our petition today  calling on U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to put a freeze on new coal in the Powder River Basin.

It’s not just because coal kills. Our federal leasing program is a massive taxpayer giveaway, to the tune of billions of dollars to huge coal companies. Worse, horrible strip mining and lax reclamation has left the land scarred. But it’s the link to global warming that has us fired up.

In 2009, Salazar told the world, “Carbon pollution is putting our world—and our way of life—in peril.”

Unbelievably, since that time Salazar has overseen the most dramatic increase in coal production in U.S. history, with his Interior Department proposing 7 billion tons of new strip mining in the Powder River Basin, enough to fuel roughly 100 power plants for the next 100 years.

That’s not cool.

Already the largest coal producing region in the country, the Powder River Basin fuels hundreds of power plants, producing 13% of our nation’s carbon pollution. And increasingly, companies are not only taking billions from the taxpayers through cheap federal coal leases, but also shipping the coal overseas to Asia and Europe.

Salazar’s actions would lock us into decades of more coal and more carbon, putting, as he said himself, our world—and our way of life—in peril.

It’s a taxpayer ripoff and it comes at the expense of our land and our climate. It’s time put an end to this. It’s time to put a chill on new coal. Sign our petition today and demand that Secretary Salazar enact a moratorium on new leasing and mining in the Powder River Basin. the Tongue River is in the area of the Powder River Basin.

We can’t strip mine our way to a safe climate. And more than ever our planet needs a good freeze.

For the Wild,

Jeremy Nichols

Climate and Energy Program Director

WildEarth Guardians

jnichols@wildearthguardians.org

Photo: Wikimedia Commons/ “This image is in the public domain because it contains materials that originally came from the United States Geological Survey, an agency of the United States Department of Interior.” / The Tongue River, a tributary of the Yellowstone River, in eastern Montana.

To visit the website of WildEarth Guardians, click here.

 

A coyote

An Associated Press article carried in the Washington Post on May 1, 2012, reports that WildEarth Guardians is challenging in court the practice by the Wildlife Service, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, of killing millions of wild animals every year.

While the American public generally assumes that the government is protecting the nation’s wildlife, in fact, the Wildlife Service (not the same as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which is a different branch of government) is killing bears, coyotes, wolves, cougars, and many other species, including millions of migratory birds, and sometimes accidentally killing Golden and Bald Eagles and people’s pets as well.

The lawsuit by WildEarth Guardians states that scientific studies which prove that predators are an essential, beneficial part of the eco-system are being ignored by the Wildlife Service, and that current environmental impact studies are not being conducted.

The Washington Post reports that the agency spent $1 billion to kill around 23 million animals between 2004-2010.

The killing of animals by the Wildlife Service is in response to local requests to protect agricultural crops and resources, including farm animals, from predation.  The lawsuit maintains that the program benefits mostly large agribusinesses, and needlessly kills wildlife that are meant to be under government protection.

The Sacramento Bee is running a very informative three-part series on this issue.

Congratulations to WildEarth Guardians for taking this important step to hold the Wildlife Service accountable for the deaths of so many wild animals.

To read the original article in the Washington Post, click here.

For the link to the Sacramento Bee series, and to see how you can help WildEarth Guardians in their valiant efforts to protect American wildlife, click here.

Photo: © Dgareri / Dreamstime.com