Defenders of Wildlife: Belugas on the Brink!

Monday, April 16th, 2007

UPDATE, 5/23/07:

See also: Tell the Bush Administration to Protect the Last 300 Beluga Whales in Alaska’s Cook Inlet!, via the Natural Resources Defense Council.

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UPDATE, 5/18/07:

See also: Take Action – Beluga Whales Need Your Help to Survive, via the Ocean Conservancy.

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UPDATE, 4/22/07:

See also: Protect Alaska’s Beluga Whales by the Center for Biological Diversity. FYI: the action alert was released 4/20, so it appears that a decision was not yet reached as of Friday. Additionally, CBD gives an Campaign Expiration Date of June 19, 2007 – so get to it!

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Via Defenders of Wildlife:

Belugas on the Brink!

The Cook Inlet once teemed with up to 1300 beluga whales — a genetically distinct population of these white whales. But sadly, their numbers have dropped to around 300 — and they could vanish forever within our lifetime unless we act now!

Federal officials will decide soon whether to list the Cook Inlet belugas as an endangered species. But they need to hear from you.

Urge the National Marine Fisheries Service to list Cook Inlet belugas as “endangered” and protect these creatures for future generations. A decision could come as early as April 18th — so please take action today!

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Campaign for America’s Wilderness: Protect America’s Largest National Forest

Sunday, April 15th, 2007

UPDATE, 4/30/07, via NRDC:

One more last-minute alert and sample letter, this time from the Natural Resources Defense Council. Take action here.

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UPDATE, 4/24/07, via Audubon:

The Forest Service has released its draft plan and environmental impact statement (EIS) for managing the Tongass National Forest in Alaska for the next 10-15 years. Currently, the Tongass is the only national forest in the United States where road building and commercial logging are allowed in roadless areas, a result of the December 2003 decision by the current administration to exempt the Tongass from the national Roadless Rule, which prohibits most commercial logging in the remaining roadless areas of all other national forests.

Public comments on the draft plan are due Monday, April 30th. This is your opportunity to tell the Forest Service to protect the remaining intact watersheds (roadless areas) of highest ecological value in America’s largest national forest and the world’s most significant region (along with British Columbia) of old-growth temperate rainforest. The Forest Service will then review your comments and make a decision later this summer.

Click here to take action.

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Via Campaign for America’s Wilderness:

Protect America’s Largest National Forest

The Tongass National Forest, located in south- eastern Alaska, is the largest intact temperate rainforest in the world. This home to bald eagles, spawning salmon and brown and black bears is a natural wonder that deserves our care and respect. However a new management plan from the Forest Service would allow commercial logging and development in some of the wildest areas in the forest: roadless areas home to some of the oldest and largest trees and best habitat for fish and wildlife.

Please take action before April 30 and tell the Forest Service to fix its plan.

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Earthjustice: Help Keep Wolves Protected in the Northern Rockies

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

UPDATE, 5/15/07, via the Natural Resources Defense Council:

Over the past 60 days you’ve given wolves a fighting chance against the Bush Administration’s proposal to strip them of their Endangered Species protection and leave them vulnerable to mass killing.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that more than 200,000 citizens registered their opposition to a dangerous plan that could doom up to one half of the wolves in Greater Yellowstone to a cruel and senseless death.

I’m proud to report that NRDC Action Fund supporters like you generated 137,000 of those 200,000 comments!

Thanks to your support, we also made sure that concerned citizens turned out in force at public hearings across the Northern Rockies to testify for wolf protection. Wolf supporters outnumbered opponents at key hearings in Cheyenne, Wyoming and Boise, Idaho, where the wolf faces fierce hostility from state officials.

And the outcry we raised was bolstered by more than 250 scientists, who expressed their own opposition to the Bush Administration proposal.

What’s next? The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will review all the comments it has received and will make a decision in about six months on whether or not to maintain protection of the wolf under the Endangered Species Act.

Way to go, guys and gals!

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UPDATE, 4/11/07:

Allrighty then…yet another action alert and sample letter, from the Natural Resources Defense Council: Tell the Bush Administration to Protect Gray Wolves!

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(More below the fold…)

NRDC: Help protect Greater Yellowstone’s last grizzly bears

Sunday, March 25th, 2007

Via the Natural Resources Defense Council:

Help protect Greater Yellowstone’s last grizzly bears

The Bush administration is weighing a proposal that would allow oil and gas development and off-road vehicle use in critical grizzly bear habitat in Wyoming’s Shoshone National Forest.

We need your immediate online action to protect grizzly bears from this destructive activity. Please act quickly. The deadline for public comments is Wednesday, March 28!

Go to http://www.savebiogems.org/bears/takeaction right away and urge the Bush administration to adopt a revised management plan for the Shoshone that protects the forest’s remaining wild expanses and declares it off-limits to destructive oil and gas drilling.

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NRDC: Fuel Efficiency, Global Warming & Kate Wing

Wednesday, March 21st, 2007

Three new action alerts, all from the Natural Resources Defense Council:

Tell Congress to get serious about stopping global warming

Scientists agree that unless we act soon to significantly reduce global warming pollution, average temperatures will continue to rise, causing heat waves, rising sea levels, droughts and wildfires. Urge your senators to co-sponsor and support legislation that would cut global warming emissions.

Tell your representative to raise fuel efficiency standards now

Congress can take immediate action to reduce global warming pollution and break our addiction to oil by raising the fuel economy standards for our cars and trucks. Urge your representative to co-sponsor a bill that would increase these standards.

Urge the Bush administration to appoint NRDC’s Kate Wing to an important oceans council

Gov. Schwarzenegger has nominated NRDC’s Kate Wing for a seat on the Pacific Fishery Management Council, which oversees fishing activities off the west coast. Urge the Bush administration to follow through with this nomination and appoint Kate to the council.

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The Wilderness Society: Colorado Wildlands at Risk

Wednesday, March 14th, 2007

UPDATE, 5/11/07:

Another alert, this time from the Natural Resources Defense Council:

Help save wild Colorado’s archeological treasures

The Bush administration wants to sacrifice more than one million acres of outstanding wildlife habitat and archeological sites in northwest Colorado to destructive oil and gas drilling and off-road vehicle use.

We need your immediate action to block this proposal, which would cause irreparable damage to fragile wildlands including the world-renowned Vermillion Basin, home to one of the most spectacular collections of ancient petroglyphs in the country.

Please click here to tell the Bush administration to protect our natural and cultural heritage by banning harmful drilling and off-road vehicle use in the Vermillion Basin and all other wilderness-quality lands in this region.

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Via The Wilderness Society:

Colorado Wildlands at Risk

From sweeping sagebrush basins to rainbow-colored badlands, the Little Snake Resource Area boasts some of Colorado’s most rugged and wild landscapes; world-class elk, mule deer, and pronghorn hunting; ancient petroglyph-filled canyons; and excellent hiking and whitewater rafting.

We need to let the BLM know that this area should be protected. Alarmingly, the BLM has published a draft management plan that would relegate most of these lands to irresponsible oil and gas development, road building, and off-road vehicle (ORV) use.

The damaging effects of this proposal to the wide-open landscapes and rural western lifestyle of the region would be widespread and long-term. That’s why we need your help today – to take action and convince the BLM to adopt a responsible, sustainable plan that will protect wildlife and special places like the Vermillion Basin proposed wilderness.

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NRDC: Protect Yellowstone and the Greater Rockies

Monday, March 12th, 2007

Via the Natural Resources Defense Council:

Protect Yellowstone and the Greater Rockies

Even as unbridled oil and gas development despoils wildlands and communities across the West, the Bush administration has proposed drilling 4,400 new natural gas wells in Wyoming’s Upper Green River Valley. Nestled between the Wind River and the Wyoming ranges, this lush valley offers a winter refuge for thousands of pronghorn and mule deer, as well as roost sites for bald eagles. Expanding drilling in this region would scar the landscape with roads, pipelines and transmission lines and could pollute the fisheries of the Green and New Fork rivers. Even the Bureau of Land Management has admitted that the plan would eliminate crucial protections and further degrade the valley’s wildlife habitat.

» Tell the Bush administration to protect the outstanding wild ranges of the Upper Green River Valley from gas drilling.

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NRDC: Speak out to save Canada’s old-growth forests!

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

Via the Natural Resources Defense Council:

Speak out to save Canada’s old-growth forests!

The Manitoba government still has not honored its pledge to permanently protect the Poplar-Nanowin Rivers traditional lands in our Heart of the Boreal Forest BioGem.

Your urgent action is needed to ensure that Manitoba makes good on its repeated promises. Mounting proposals for clearcut logging, roadbuilding and industrial hydropower development loom over this irreplaceable habitat for threatened woodland caribou, moose and millions of songbirds.

Previous alert (dated 11/21/06) here.

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NRDC: Tell the Bush administration not to allow a new dirty coal plant in Nevada

Wednesday, February 21st, 2007

Via the Natural Resources Defense Council:

Tell the Bush administration not to allow a new dirty coal plant in Nevada

The Bush administration is considering allowing a huge new coal-fired power plant complex to be built on 2,800 acres of federal land in eastern Nevada. The plant’s outdated technologies would unnecessarily pollute the region’s water and air (including threatening the air in Great Basin National Park) with mercury, smog and soot. Mercury is particularly hazardous for developing fetuses and small children, and soot causes asthma attacks, heart disease and other health problems.

In addition, the proposed coal plant would emit millions of tons of carbon dioxide, the primary cause of global warming. Coal is the largest source of global warming pollution in the United States, and coal mining destroys fragile landscapes and contaminates streams and ponds. Adding insult to injury, the hefty price tag for the plant’s construction most likely means that Nevadans’ utility bills would increase.

We have cleaner and healthier options for meeting the region’s energy needs, with no loss of comfort or convenience, and without ruining the environment and endangering Nevadans’ health
in the process.

The Bush administration is accepting public comments on the proposed power plant through this Monday, February 26th.

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NRDC: Tell the Bush Administration to protect polar bears and their critical habitat

Thursday, February 15th, 2007

Via the Natural Resources Defense Council:

Tell the Bush Administration to protect polar bears and their critical habitat

Polar bears are completely dependent on Arctic sea ice to survive, but 80 percent of that ice could be gone in 20 years and all of it by 2040. Polar bears are already suffering the effects: birth rates are falling, fewer cubs are surviving, and more bears are drowning. The Bush Administration’s proposal to list the polar bear as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act is a crucial first step toward ensuring a future for these magnificent Arctic creatures. Yet the administration’s proposal does not designate “critical habitat” for protection, even though melting habitat from global warming is the main threat to the polar bear’s survival.

Submit your Official Citizen Comment urging the Fish and Wildlife Service to finalize the listing of the polar bear and designate its critical habitat.

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NRDC: Tell Governor Schwarzenegger to appoint proven environmentalists to the state water board

Monday, February 5th, 2007

Via the Natural Resources Defense Council (and for California residents only):

Tell Governor Schwarzenegger to appoint proven environmentalists to the state water board

California is home to 5,000 lakes and 30,000 miles of rivers and streams, many of which provide drinking water and swimming, fishing and other recreational opportunities for millions of Californians. But the state’s waters are threatened by pollution (during just one winter storm, more than one billion gallons of untreated pollution can wash over the land and into area waters threatening fish, birds and people), and global warming is expected to put even greater strain on our supply of clean drinking water by changing the amount and timing of precipitation on which we currently depend.

The State Water Resources Control Board is charged with protecting water quality and balancing competing demands for the state’s water by establishing safety standards and developing water protection plans, allocating water rights and guiding nine regional water boards. Each of five state water board members are appointed to four-year terms by the governor and confirmed by the state Senate. In the coming months Governor Schwarzenegger will appoint up to two new board members; these new board members will help shape water policy into the next decade.

Given the state water board’s critical importance and the increasing demands on California’s vital water resources, NRDC and other leading environmental organizations have endorsed a slate of candidates for the upcoming appointments with proven track records of environmental protection and shared these names with Governor Schwarzenegger’s office. Now he needs to hear from other concerned Californians that these appointments are too important to entrust to anyone who has not demonstrated a proven commitment to protecting our precious water resources.

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NRDC: Speak out to protect Native American sacred springs from destructive coal mining

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

UPDATE, 2/9/07, via the Center for Biological Diversity:

Under fire from the Center for Biological Diversity, the Natural Resources Defense Council and American Indian groups, the Salt River Project announced on Feb. 7 it is abandoning plans to reopen the Mohave Generating Station, which would have revived the notorious Black Mesa coal mine in Arizona and its 273-mile pipeline to Nevada. Black Mesa was one of the largest strip-mining operations in the country. The project threatened to deplete aquifers linked to the Navajo and Hopi’s sacred springs, using pristine, high-quality groundwater to pump coal slurry across the arid desert.

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UPDATE, 2/1/07:

The Center for Biological Diversity also sent out an action alert on this issue:

Help Keep the Notorious Black Mesa Mine Closed!

The Black Mesa strip mine is one of the most infamous strip-mining operations in North America. The mine is owned by Peabody Coal Company and is operated on long-term leases from the Office of Surface Management and the Navajo and Hopi Nations. The indigenous people on the two reservations have protested these mines for decades because of the relocations, water withdrawals, and damage to local springs the mining has caused.

Mining stopped two years ago because of environmental violations at the coal-fired Mohave power plant that’s operated with coal from the Black Mesa mines. But now the Office of Surface Management wants to re-open the mine and re-open the power plant to fuel suburban growth in Phoenix.

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Via the Natural Resources Defense Council:

Speak out to protect Native American sacred springs from destructive coal mining

The Interior Department is currently accepting comments on a request from the Peabody Western Coal Company to extend its Arizona mining operations, which have removed billions of gallons of precious groundwater from local Hopi and Navajo lands.

Send a message right away urging the agency to consider less destructive alternatives to Peabody Coal’s proposed mining.

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NRDC: Tell Congress to Pass Tough Global Warming Legislation!

Friday, January 26th, 2007

Via the Natural Resources Defense Council:

Tell Congress to Pass Tough Global Warming Legislation!

It took six years but President Bush finally said “climate change” in a State of the Union speech.

Unfortunately, he left out the magic words that could save us: “mandatory limits on global warming pollution.” And we can’t afford to wait one more day — much less two more years — for this president to see the light.

It’s way too late for talk and half measures. We know what has to be done. Now we’ve got to get the new Congress to do it.

Send a message telling your Senators and Representative to pass tough global warming legislation now.

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NRDC: Say NO to coal mining in grizzly habitat

Thursday, January 25th, 2007

Via the Natural Resources Defense Council:

Say NO to coal mining in grizzly habitat

The Cline Mining Corporation wants to gouge a heavily polluting coal mine out of the Flathead River Valley, a thriving Rocky Mountain habitat for grizzly bears that straddles the border of
Montana and British Columbia.

We need your immediate action to block this dangerous open-pit mining scheme, which would poison the headwaters of the Flathead River and jeopardize the survival of downstream populations of imperiled grizzly bears, wolves, cutthroat trout and other wildlife.

Please go to http://www.savebiogems.org/bears/takeaction and urge the British Columbia government to protect the spectacular wildlands and wildlife of the Flathead basin by rejecting the Cline Mining Corporation’s reckless plan.

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NRDC: Tell the EPA not to allow more dangerous lead in our air

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007

UPDATE, 1/25/07:

Also see “EPA Set to Abandon 30 Years of Air Quality Control” from the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

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Via the Natural Resources Defense Council:

Tell the EPA not to allow more dangerous lead in our air

Lead is a potent toxin that can be particularly harmful to children, yet the EPA recently proposed eliminating its current standard for the maximum allowable level of lead in the atmosphere. Urge the EPA to strengthen, not eliminate or weaken, this standard.

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NRDC: Help Save Polar Bears from Global Warming

Wednesday, January 17th, 2007

Via the Natural Resources Defense Council:

Help Save Polar Bears from Global Warming

Thanks to you, the polar bear won Round One of its fight for survival against the ravages of global warming.

Your activism and support of NRDC helped persuade the Bush Administration to propose protecting the bear under the Endangered Species Act.

Round Two is now beginning. The Administration is starting a 12-month review process that will lead to its final decision about whether or not to protect the polar bear.

But they won’t hold nationwide public hearings during that process unless we speak up now! They will take your request for public hearings until February 23.

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A slew of anti-Big Oil/pro-clean energy action alerts for the 110th Congress

Tuesday, January 16th, 2007

UPDATE, 1/22/07:

As many of you know, HR6 passed the House on Thursday; you can read the full text of the bill here.

Says Ayinde O. Chase of All Headline News,

On Thursday the House of Representatives passed the CLEAN Energy Act (H.R. 6), which rolls back subsidies and tax breaks for Big Oil, by a vote of 264 to 163. The bill specifically aims to close certain tax loopholes available to big oil companies, and collect royalties from oil and gas produced in public waters. The legislation when enforced will shift more than $14 billion from certain subsidies to investments in clean energy, such as energy-efficient technologies and renewable power. […]

The monies collected could be directed to:

– spur the construction of wind and solar energy power generation facilities

– provide incentives for energy-efficient appliances, buildings and equipment

– enable more people to purchase gas-saving hybrid cars and trucks […]

An Apollo Alliance study discovered that a major investment in alternative energy technologies has the potential of adding more than 3.3 million new jobs to the nation’s economy, stimulating $1.4 trillion dollars in new Gross Domestic Product, and eventually paying for itself in a 10-year time span.

Sweet.

My favorite headline come from Salon: “Big Oil gets punked” (!).

Earthjustice recommends sending your rep a thank you, that is, if she or he is deserving of one. Otherwise, ignore the twit and vote against him/her in the next election cycle.

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With Congress slated to vote on the clean energy portion of their 100 Hours agenda later this week, the action alerts are coming at my inbox, fast and furious. Rather than post each individually, here’s a roundup of those that call on Congress to end subsidies for Big Oil, support clean energy, and/or vote yes on H.R. 6. I’ll add new ones to the top of the list as they arrive.

(More below the fold…)

NRDC: Tell officials to upgrade the outdated Morro Bay sewage plant

Thursday, January 11th, 2007

Via the Natural Resources Defense Council:

Tell officials to upgrade the outdated Morro Bay sewage plant as quickly as possible

Morro Bay and Cayucos are home to the threatened California sea otter, whose statewide population numbers only 2,700. Morro Bay’s magnificent coastal ecosystem also supports dolphins, seals, shellfish, a multitude of fish species and several shorebird and geese populations.

But for more than two decades the Morro Bay/Cayucos sewage plant has dumped bacteria-laden sewage and other pollutants into the ocean, and the bay’s surrounding waters have become a hotspot for sea otter deaths. Otters are especially important because they are “sentinels” that indicate the overall health of the marine ecosystem. Studies have traced the otters’ decline to infections from land-based contaminants found in sewage wastewater and urban runoff. These pathogens, parasites, fecal bacteria and other contaminants also threaten other marine life, pose a danger to public health, degrade coastal habitats, cause beach closures and damage the local economy.

Although the Morro Bay sewage plant could be upgraded to meet basic federal standards in less than two and a half years, plant officials do not intend to complete the project and improve water quality until March 2014. The plant’s own documents show that a faster, more efficient upgrade is not only possible, but would be less expensive as well.

Send a message urging Morro Bay and Cayucos officials to upgrade the outdated sewage plant as fast as possible.

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NRDC: Urge California leaders to ensure that state spending protects the environment

Thursday, January 11th, 2007

Via the Natural Resources Defense Council (for California residents only):

Urge California leaders to ensure that state spending protects the environment

California and the global environment scored a major victory in 2006 with the passage of groundbreaking legislation (AB 32) to curb California’s global warming pollution. We must now ensure that the state invests its resources in a way that supports the law’s global warming reduction goals and promotes a clean and healthy environment for all Californians.

In the year ahead Governor Schwarzenegger and state legislative leaders will decide how to spend more than $40 billion in infrastructure bonds approved by voters in November 2006. Legislators currently are crafting proposals to direct infrastructure spending and claim shares of the state budget for their own projects, including an effort by Assembly Republicans to use state money for dam construction.

Infrastructure investments, including roads, highways, buildings and levees, should not come at the expense of our environment and public health. Legislators must also resist efforts to fund costly and environmentally destructive dams designed to provide subsidized water for large agricultural interests — especially because less costly and damaging alternatives are available.

With a long-term vision and some creativity, state leaders can ensure that California’s infrastructure investments reduce global warming pollution, improve air and water quality and protect open space and habitat.

If you live in California, send a message urging your state legislators and Governor Schwarzenegger to keep the environment and public health at the forefront as they make spending decisions for 2007.

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NRDC: Take action so grizzlies can rest easy this winter

Friday, December 22nd, 2006

Via the Natural Resources Defense Council:

Take action so grizzlies can rest easy this winter

A major railroad company is plotting to use powerful military artillery to control avalanches along its railway in Glacier National Park. The deadline for public comments on this disastrous plan is December 29th, so please act quickly.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad has proposed firing explosives and dropping bombs from helicopters at Glacier’s southern boundary, even though scientific research has shown that such earth-shattering explosions are likely to disturb grizzly bear denning.

Instead, the company should upgrade its neglected, century-old system of snow sheds to include overpasses for wildlife. Over the past 30 years, trains traveling along the borders of the
park have killed at least 42 grizzlies, which are attracted to the vegetation growing in avalanche chutes by the tracks, as well as grain spilled by railway cars.

Please click here and urge Glacier officials to reject Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad’s reckless proposal and adopt an avalanche control plan that protects Glacier’s natural values.

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