When Franklin Roosevelt first proposed to protect Utah's canyon country in 1936, he envisioned a 4.5-million-acre area. But when Congress finally designated Canyonlands National Park in 1964, political pressure had whittled it down to just 257,000 acres.
Today much of the land around Canyonlands is still wild. Narrow canyons cradle endangered species like southwestern willow flycatchers and yellow-billed cuckoos. Four rivers sustain highly endangered fish and provide water to 40 million Americans. And stark geology and sacred American Indian sites reveal a deep history.
But the march of industrialization is at the doorstep. Rampant fossil fuel development, mining and uncontrolled ORV use are pushing farther and farther into these remote wildlands, threatening to rob them of their wildness.
With the stroke of a pen, President Obama can enact long-overdue protections for this region by designating a 1.8-million-acre Greater Canyonlands National Monument -- but only if the public convinces him to do so.
Take action below -- urge Obama to fulfill Roosevelt's vision and forever protect these canyonlands.
Hundreds of species -- from wolves and wolverines to salmon and bull trout -- call Idaho's "Big Wild" home. Spanning nearly 4 million acres in the heart of the state, it's the largest intact ecosystem remaining in the lower 48. But it's also now at great risk.
The Forest Service there wants to open the door to development on these lands.
The agency's newly proposed management plan for the area -- a plan that governs all uses for decades to come -- combines the Nez Perce and Clearwater national forests into one while weakening longstanding protections for clean water and wildlife.
The Forest Service needs to hear loud and clear that its current proposal is unacceptable.
Take action below -- urge the Forest Service to protect Idaho's Big Wild and adopt the citizens' proposal prepared by Friends of the Clearwater.
Originating in America's first designated wilderness area, New Mexico's Gila River is a biological gem. Its riparian forests boast one of the highest concentrations of breeding birds in the country -- including rare yellow-billed cuckoos -- and its waters sustain loach minnow, spike dace and Gila trout. The Gila is also a mainstay for the area's recreation economy.
But New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez will soon decide whether to OK a billion-dollar boondoggle that could destroy this river as we know it. The project is unnecessary because the area's water needs can be met by other proven means -- through conservation, groundwater management, water recycling and watershed restoration.
Take action below -- urge Gov. Martinez to support cost-effective, non-diversion alternatives to protect the Gila and secure New Mexico's water future.
This November California voters will decide whether to pass a bond meant to address the state's water crisis. The Center for Biological Diversity is opposed to Proposition 1 though for three important reasons:
1. The bond subsidizes more delta water exports. The bond provides up to $572.2 million for the state to purchase water from upstream sources to fill California's drying rivers. However, once it becomes part of stream flow the purchased water becomes "abandoned" water, up for grabs by the existing delta pumps and the proposed Twin Tunnels. This will be very bad news for dozens of endangered and threatened species that call the delta home.
2. The bond will make way for new dams and reservoirs. The bond provides $2.7 billion for additional water storage projects to benefit Big Ag, including the Sites, Los Vaqueros and Temperance Flat reservoirs. Building these dams and reservoirs is misguided: It's a grossly expensive way to facilitate Big Ag's access to minimal additional water resources. The result will harm fragile ecosystems which need this water to survive.
3. The bond fails to bring real water solutions to California. The bond slashes funding for water conservation, efficiency and recycling to $1.5 billion -- just half of what it allocates to build new dams and reservoirs. We can't rely on old tools to solve our water scarcity crises; we must send the bond back to the legislature until it prioritizes investing the public's money on proven, long-term water solutions that will secure our water future.
Take action below -- sign our pledge to vote no on Prop. 1.
A small, misnamed group called "Idaho for Wildlife" is asking the BLM to allow a horrific predator slaughter on our public lands, and we need your help now to stop it.
The permit the group is requesting would allow a wildlife-killing "derby" to take place across 3.1 million acres of public land in Idaho each year for the next five years. That could mean untold deaths for the state's wolves, coyotes and other wildlife starting in January -- a prospect that stinks of 19th century wildlife mismanagement and outdated notions about the role of predators on landscapes.
Shockingly, the BLM is taking steps to approve this event, despite a flood of public opposition to the contest.
Take action below -- tell the BLM to deny the permit for this predator derby now.
Yellow-billed cuckoos fly thousands of miles from South America to nest in the western United States. But, once here, they've found fewer and fewer streamside forests that provide them shelter for nesting as well as the large bugs, including spiny caterpillars, they need to eat to make the long trip back south.
Thanks to a 16-year campaign by the Center for Biological Diversity, these imperiled birds have finally been protected under the Endangered Species Act. But their habitat is not yet protected.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is now taking comments on its proposal to protect more than a half-million acres -- over 1,700 linear miles along rivers and streams -- as "critical habitat" for western yellow-billed cuckoos.
The proposal would protect 573 miles of streamside in Arizona, 288 miles in New Mexico, 280 in California, 211 in Colorado, 144 in Utah, as well as shorter stretches in Nevada, Wyoming, Idaho and Texas.
Unfortunately, the proposal would only protect the largest patches of habitat. Please write to request that cuckoos surviving and nesting in smaller areas also have their homes protected.
A new EPA plan to rein in polluting power plants using the Clean Air Act carries promise, but it doesn't yet have the teeth to turn back the tide on climate change.
Scientists tell us that by 2030, global warming pollution in the United States and other developed countries must be reduced 35 percent to 65 percent below 1990 levels to help stave off the worst effects of climate change. The EPA's draft plan sets a low bar and would reduce U.S. power-sector emissions only 8 percent below that 1990 mark.
The proposed rules also rely heavily on switching to natural gas, sidelining renewable energy. More natural gas means more fracking, and more air and water contamination in our communities. Fracking threatens the climate when huge amounts of methane -- a greenhouse gas 86 times more powerful than CO2 over 20 years -- leak during natural gas drilling, which could make gas even worse than coal.
Rather than ending our addiction to fossil fuels, the EPA's plan prolongs it.
Take action below -- demand a plan that speeds the transition to truly clean power.
For the 2.5 million people who visit California's Point Reyes National Seashore every year, a major attraction is the chance to catch sight of the area's magnificent tule elk, reintroduced in 1978 after being wiped out more than a century before.
But now ranchers who enjoy subsidized grazing leases in the park are targeting the elk for eating grass they believe rightly belongs to their cattle -- and they're even characterizing the native elk as "invasive."
Ranchers are pressuring the National Park Service to remove elk or build large fences to keep them out of ranching areas, and supposedly "green" politicians such as Marin County Supervisor Steve Kinsey and Northern California Congressman Jared Huffman are joining them.
The manufactured elk controversy comes as the Park Service is initiating a planning process for the 18,000 acres of cattle ranches in the park, and considering extending ranching leases for up to 20 years.
Tell the Park Service and politicians that tule elk play an important role in the ecology of Point Reyes National Seashore and free-ranging elk should stay on our public parklands.
The average American diet has one of the biggest carbon footprints in the world -- but if we actually followed the dietary guidelines created by the federal government, it'd be even worse for the environment.
University of Michigan researchers determined that the national dietary guidelines could increase diet-related greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 12 percent -- largely due to increased dairy consumption.
But those guidelines -- the ones that make up the classic food pyramid -- are up for review. And for the first time ever, the advisory committee is paying special attention to sustainability concerns.
A diet high in meat and dairy is unhealthy for people and for the planet, but, predictably, the meat industry thinks environmental issues don't belong in the guidelines. That's why the advisory committee needs to hear from you -- so they know how crucial sustainability is.
Eliminating animal products from your diet can halve your diet-related greenhouse gas emissions, and even reducing your meat consumption by one-third can save the equivalent of driving as much as 2,700 fewer miles per year in greenhouse gas emissions.
Act now: Tell the advisory committee to cut climate change from the American diet by including recommendations for reduced meat and dairy consumption in the 2015 dietary guidelines.
Oregon has a long history as a national leader when it comes to smart use of land for the mutual benefit of wildlife and people. Now it's time to take a stand on the most far-reaching environmental crisis of our time: climate change.
Climate change may proceed by seemingly imperceptible degrees, but it doesn't take much to raise sea levels, disrupt weather patterns, and forever alter ecosystems that have evolved over millions of years. We need to take action now to reduce our carbon footprint and prevent the worst-case climate scenarios.
To that end our state leaders must divest from fossil fuels and prioritize carbon pricing and renewable energy. With CO2 levels rising and climate change already threatening an increasing number of species -- like salmon, steelhead and wolverines -- they must act now.
Sign the Center for Biological Diversity's petition below and urge Governor John Kitzhaber and State Treasurer Ted Wheeler to step up and be climate leaders.
Washington's state wolf plan was adopted by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission in 2011 after being assembled over five years to incorporate the views of thousands of stakeholders and scientists. This plan is central to the state's efforts to recover wolves and minimize conflicts -- especially with commercial livestock operators, often opposed to wolf recovery.
But the plan keeps being undermined by the commission and the state wildlife agency -- who have adopted new rules to expand who can kill wolves and under what circumstances.
This summer the Center for Biological Diversity and allies petitioned the commission to adopt rules that would make key parts of the wolf plan enforceable. We asked for guidelines that ensure wolves are only killed when depredating livestock has become a chronic problem and that require ranchers to take nonlethal steps to protect their livestock before any wolf-caused losses could result in a wolf being killed. But on Aug. 1, the commission denied our petition.
Now we're taking our case to the governor.
Please join us and take action now to urge Governor Jay Inslee to protect wolves with strong, legally enforceable rules that honor the state's wolf plan.
Fracking is an inherently dangerous and dirty activity -- whether it happens on land or offshore.
What's more, oil companies have EPA permission to discharge up to 9 billion gallons of fracking wastewater into the ocean off California's coast -- as though it's a dump instead of a cherished home for all kinds of rare and vulnerable wildlife.
Whales, dolphins, sea turtles and sea otters have no way of defending themselves. And the burden of proof shouldn't be on the public either to decide which and how many of these chemicals are toxic.
The EPA has a clear responsibility to intervene to protect our health and wildlife from oil companies fracking off our coasts.
Take action below -- urge the agency to ban the toxic practice of dumping fracking chemicals into the ocean.
Monarch butterflies urgently need your help. This iconic, orange-and-black beauty was once common in backyards across the country -- but its population has plummeted by 90 percent from the 20-year average.
Monarchs must have Endangered Species Act protection to save their habitat from further destruction.
These delicate creatures weigh less than a gram, but every year they travel thousands of miles -- from Canada down to Mexico -- in an incredible, multigenerational migration. Generations of schoolchildren have learned about metamorphosis by watching monarch caterpillars transform into butterflies.
But the milkweed that monarchs depend on for survival is now being wiped out by genetically engineered, herbicide-resistant crops, as well as pesticides, human development and climate change.
Please sign our petition below -- ask the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect monarch butterflies under the Endangered Species Act before it's too late.
Idaho is at it again. A misnamed group called Idaho for Wildlife is asking the BLM for permission to use millions of acres of public land for a three-day "predator derby" this winter.
Unbelievably, the BLM is actually considering the request -- so we need your help to halt this deadly event before it gets approved.
The group aims to gather 500 people to slaughter as many predators as they can -- including wolves, coyotes, mountain lions, bears, foxes, bobcats and even weasels -- near Salmon, Idaho this winter. And, at the end of the three days, cash prizes will be awarded to whoever kills the largest wolf and whoever bags the most coyotes.
The kill-fest comes as scientists increasingly worry about killing off predators because they're an incredibly important part of maintaining these wild landscapes.
Worse still, there are some shady connections between Idaho for Wildlife and private interests hoping to use revenues from the derby as bounty fees for those who kill wolves in Idaho year-round.
We need your help to make sure this wildlife derby of death doesn't happen. Help us stop these contests now by urging BLM to deny the predator derby's permit application.
New York's wildlife, pets and even children are being put at risk of poisoning by the continued use of super-toxic rat poisons.
Called second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides, these poisons induce a slow death by internal bleeding. And because they persist in body tissues, poisoned rats and mice are being turned into deadly meals for other animals up the food chain. More than 30 different New York wildlife species have been unintentionally poisoned -- from red-tailed hawks and great-horned owls to golden eagles and foxes.
The collateral damage from these rodenticides also includes pets and children who can be unintentionally poisoned as well. Safe, effective and inexpensive alternatives to these rat poisons are widely available -- it's simply unnecessary to keep these most hazardous poisons on the market.
Take action below -- tell New York officials that you support a ban on second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides to protect wildlife, pets and children.
The rare, truffle-eating flying squirrel of Southern California's mountains is in trouble.
Its forest habitat is moving upslope as temperatures warm and drier conditions threaten its truffle food supply, which thrives in wet, cool conditions. The San Bernardino flying squirrel has already disappeared from one of the two mountain ranges it lives in near Los Angeles.
The federal government is considering protecting these flying squirrels as an endangered species, reducing the dangers they face from forest habitat destruction and encouraging government action to fight climate change.
If these amazing flying squirrels don't get Endangered Species Act protection, global warming could push them out of their last mountain refuge.
Please sign the petition below urging the government to protect these flying squirrels from the climate crisis and other threats.
States in the Northeast have been working hard to combat climate change through a regional effort to slash greenhouse gases. But New Jersey's Gov. Chris Christie withdrew his state from the program three years ago.
Climate change has been linked to declining wildlife populations around the globe, and by the end of this century as many as one in 10 species could face extinction.
Left unchecked, this crisis could also produce more catastrophic storms like Hurricane Sandy, which devastated New Jersey, as well as more frequent heat waves and higher levels of smog if temps continue to rise.
Take action below -- urge Gov. Christie to get with the program and help New Jersey be a leader in the fight against climate change.
Hurricane Sandy's lethal walls of water inflicted horrific devastation on New York and New Jersey in 2012. But future storms could be even deadlier because of higher ocean levels caused by manmade climate change
Rising oceans pose a deadly threat to America's coastal communities. As global warming accelerates, sea-level rise increases the damage and danger from flooding and storm surges.
If the climate crisis is left unchecked, we could suffer as much as 4 feet of sea-level rise and 10 degrees Fahrenheit of warming by century's end. And wildlife is also at risk: A recent analysis found that sea-level rise threatens hundreds of U.S. animal species.
But it's not too late to protect our coastal communities if we join together and take immediate action. The science is clear: We need to move much more quickly to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Please urge President Obama to make the ambitious carbon pollution cuts we need to fight global warming and sea-level rise.
In recent years, following the loss of federal protections for gray wolves in the northern Rockies and a great rise in the price of bobcat hides, the state of Idaho has issued an increasing number of trapping licenses.
This has been bad news for Canada lynx -- which look very similar to bobcats. Three of the state's estimated 100 lynx have been caught in traps since 2012, one of which was mistaken for a bobcat and killed. And while other states have already passed measures to keep this from happening, Idaho's wildlife agencies have turned a blind eye to the problem.
It's also likely that many more lynx are being trapped -- as well as other imperiled species like wolverines and fisher cats -- but due to flaws in the existing rules, these trappings aren't reported.
Take action below -- tell the Idaho Fish and Game Commission to rein in its trapping program to protect rare and threatened wildlife.
The president's National Climate Assessment makes it clear that climate change could wreak devastation on our infrastructure, health, food supply, wildlife and economy.
We can expect sea-level rise of 4 feet or more, skyrocketing temperatures, declines of major crop yields, and extinction of endangered species.
Military researchers recently reported that climate change poses a threat to our national security, as climate disruption will fuel conflicts and displace people around the world.
It's good that the president is paying attention to the science — but now he must act accordingly. Tell him to take bold, not fearful action to protect our climate.
The Grand Canyon is a breathtaking, awe-inspiring site visited by millions of people each year. And thanks to President Teddy Roosevelt, who first acknowledged the need to protect our country's wild places, the canyon was protected as a national monument in 1908 and as a national park in 1919.
But tragically the lands surrounding the canyon remain unprotected and open to exploitation. Centuries-old ponderosa pines that provide habitat for the Kaibab squirrel and northern goshawk continue to be cut down. Off-road vehicle users tear through fragile soils and vegetation. Inappropriate livestock grazing erodes riparian areas. And uranium-mining pits mar the landscape and pollute a source of much of the Southwest's drinking water.
Fortunately there is something we can do about it: We can urge President Obama to use his power under the Antiquities Act to fulfill Roosevelt's vision and forever protect these lands for future generations.
Take action below -- tell Obama to leave a legacy we can all be proud of by designating the Grand Canyon watershed as a national monument.
A new report from our partners Friends of the Earth and the Pesticide Research Institute, Gardeners Beware 2014, found that more than half of tested plants purchased from top garden retailers throughout the United States and Canada contain harmful insecticides called neonicotinoids with no warning on the label. Among the businesses sampled in the study were such corporate giants as Lowe's and Walmart.
Research shows that even when neonicotinoids don't kill bees outright, they can make them more vulnerable to diseases and other stressors; once applied, the chemical is soaked up by the leaves and then transported throughout the plant.
The report is a snapshot of the market, and suggests the problem is widespread. Unknowingly many home gardeners could actually be poisoning the bees and wildlife they wish to attract -- as well as their soil and water -- since these chemicals take months or even years to break down.
Gardeners in Europe have already gotten wise; you won't find neonicotinoids there.
Take action below -- tell Lowe's and other U.S. garden retailers that if it's not good enough for bees, it's not good enough for us either.
Bearded seals live in icy Arctic oceans and they use their long, lush mustaches to find clams on the seafloor. They desperately need Arctic sea ice floes for giving birth and raising their pups. That sea ice is rapidly disappearing because of global warming.
Fortunately, the federal government recently gave bearded seals protections as an endangered species because global warming is rapidly melting their sea-ice nurseries. These protections will help reduce dangers to the seals and drive government action to fight climate change.
Unfortunately, the state of Alaska is working to block these critical protections.
Please sign the petition below urging the state of Alaska to stop standing in the way of protecting the bearded seal as an endangered species.
Polar bears are dying. As global warming accelerates, the sea ice they depend on for survival is literally melting away. Bears are starving and drowning as they have to swim farther and farther to reach solid ice. Some are even turning to cannibalism in a desperate search for food. Those trapped on land hundreds of miles from the nearest ice often wander near villages in search of food and are shot.
Two-thirds of all polar bears -- including all bears in Alaska -- could be extinct by 2050 if current trends continue. The rest of the species could be gone by the end of the century.
But it's not too late to save the polar bear if we join together and take immediate action. The science is clear: We know what needs to be done -- we just need to build the political support to do it.
Please sign the petition below urging President Obama to rein in global warming and save the polar bear now.
Over the past few years the EPA began studying water contamination in three fracked communities in Parker County, Texas; Dimock, Pennsylvania; and Pavilion, Wyoming.
Despite evidence showing a direct link between fracking operations and water contamination EPA officials then abandoned the investigations -- and the people suffering from the harmful impacts of fracking.
Remind the EPA that its job is to protect the American people, not oil and gas companies.
Tell the agency to reopen its crucial investigations into water contamination in fracked communities.
Asphalt Ridge in Utah is on its way to becoming the first large-scale tar sands extraction site in the United States -- unless we stop the Bureau of Land Management from leasing the land to foreign oil companies.
If the project gets the green light, a Canadian corporation hopes to begin producing tar sands from a pilot facility in the Asphalt Ridge deposit near Vernal, Utah. And that's only the beginning: The company plans to ramp up production to commercial levels if funding is secured. The extraction and burning of tar sands oil would destroy wildlife habitat and contribute to the climate crisis.
The Obama administration recently released its third National Climate Assessment, highlighting the severe harms from climate change that are already affecting the western United States. The BLM's facilitation of dirty tar sands production on our federal public lands is irresponsible and directly at odds with the findings and conclusions of the administration's assessment.
Please take action below -- urge the BLM to deny tar sands leasing at Asphalt Ridge.
The unique emperor penguin is being driven extinct by the melting of sea ice in Antarctica. Star of "March of the Penguins" and "Happy Feet," this charismatic bird needs sea-ice habitat to raise its chicks.
The federal government is considering protecting this penguin as an "endangered species" because global warming is melting its icy Antarctic home. This protection will help protect the penguin from harm and encourage government action to fight climate change.
Slowing climate change to prevent the melting of ice sheets in Antarctica is critical to maintaining a safe climate.
Please sign the petition below urging the government to protect the emperor penguin from climate change.
McDonald's spends hundreds of millions of dollars on ads convincing people to eat more meat. And of course, those ads fail to mention that producing those burgers is sickening our planet -- making a massive contribution to climate change and pollution and driving wildlife out of their homes.
That's why it's quite the stretch for the fast-food giant to claim it will start sourcing its burgers from "sustainable beef" in 2016.
At the rate McDonald's sells its burgers -- an estimated 75 per second -- the toll of that much meat production on wildlife and the planet is devastating no matter where the meat comes from. Meanwhile, McDonald's doesn't offer a single Earth-friendly entrée with plant-based protein; its only meatless options are limited to sides like salads and apple slices.
McDonald's may not be the restaurant of choice for many environmentalists, but it's the choice of about 70 million people every day. This gives McDonald's a huge influence over the industry and the eating habits of people throughout the world -- and by extension, over our planet's future.
Take action below -- urge McDonald's to be a leader and work for real sustainability by including meatless options in its menu.
Two bills now sitting before Congress have the fossil fuel industry drooling: Senate Bill 2274 and House Bill 6 propose to fast track new exports of liquefied natural gas.
An expansion of natural gas exports will mean a fracking boom that leaves us to deal with the fallout -- air and water contamination, earthquakes and climate disruption.
We can't let it happen. The fossil fuel industry is seeking to exploit the crisis in Ukraine, claiming that U.S. natural gas will help our ally wean itself off Russian energy. But let's call this like it is: These companies are looking to get rich by exporting more fracked natural gas around the world.
Take action below and tell Congress to vote no on a natural gas export boom.
Amphibians and reptiles are in the midst of a profound, human-driven extinction crisis that demands immediate action.
With threats like habitat destruction, toxic pesticides and climate change, these animals are dying off at up to 10,000 times the historic extinction rate. This loss is especially alarming because frogs, salamanders and snakes play important roles as predators and prey in their ecosystems and are key indicators of ecosystem health.
That's why the Center for Biological Diversity in July 2012 filed a petition with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect 53 of our nation's rarest amphibians and reptiles under the Endangered Species Act. It was the largest petition of its kind in history to help an emergency situation -- but a year and a half later, the Service has yet to act.
These animals can’t afford delay.
Please -- act now and urge the Service to move quickly to protect these rare amphibians and reptiles.
Mohave shoulderband snails are unlikely desert dwellers. They're moisture dependent in a place known for its deadly heat. And they're exceedingly rare, existing on just three small hills in Southern California.
Indeed, they're one of the Mojave's many wonders, and for tens of thousands of years they've managed to persist. But they're at risk now of extinction from an open-pit mine underway -- a project expected to last just 31 years.
The problem is global as well as local, as mollusks are one of the groups of animals most sensitive to human changes. Since the year 1500, approximately 40 percent of recorded extinctions have been mollusks, including 260 species of slugs and snails.
Without Endangered Species Act protection, California's Golden Queen Mine will continue as planned, likely killing more than half the snail's global population and driving this species perilously close to extinction.
Take action below and urge the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect Mohave shoulderbands under the Act before it's too late.
Our government gives billions of dollars of taxpayer money to gigantic dirty energy companies every year. It's unfair, unnecessary, and it hurts clean-energy companies.
Unfair government payments to some of the world's largest corporations make dirty energy like oil and coal cheaper, giving them an advantage over clean power sources like wind and solar.
These payments are not just hugely wasteful -- they also increase greenhouse pollution and speed climate change. President Barack Obama needs to protect our climate and our wallets by fighting these dirty giveaways.
Take action now stop these outrageous handouts fueling climate change.
Offshore oil drilling could soon jeopardize America's Arctic Ocean, a wild and wonderful place full of polar bears.
An oil spill or industrial accident in these remote, icy waters would cause incredible harm and be almost impossible to contain or clean up.
And drilling for oil in this extreme environment would deepen America's commitment to dirty fossil fuel just when we should be moving quickly to a clean-energy future to protect the climate. President Barack Obama should halt Arctic drilling to protect this beautiful wild ecosystem and our climate.
The Clean Air Act is an environmental law that holds polluters accountable for poisoning the air we breathe and causing the planet to warm. The oil, gas and coal lobbies have slowed and even stopped the government from using the law to stop global warming.
Cities across the country are rallying together to end the delays. They are asking the federal government to set strong, swift, lifesaving standards to reduce global warming pollution.
Sign the petition below to encourage your city or town to join the growing network of Clean Air Cities.
Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is the dangerous process of blasting huge volumes of water mixed with toxic chemicals underground to crack open rock formations and extract oil and gas.
And the fracking-induced oil and gas boom has transformed our energy landscape, undercutting clean energy and furthering our addiction to fossil fuels while polluting our air, wasting water and threatening wildlife.
To avoid catastrophic climate change, we need to leave at least 80 percent of proven fossil fuels in the ground -- including the majority of shale oil and gas reserves. We simply can't afford to employ a toxic practice that will prolong our dependence on oil and gas.
Methane leakage from fracking poses a grave threat to our climate, as methane is 86 times more potent than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere over a 20-year period.
And our public lands are right in the bull's-eye of this fracking rush. The Interior Department leases millions of acres of our federal lands to private companies for oil and gas drilling and estimates that 90 percent of new wells on federal land today are fracked. Many of our national parks, including Grand Teton and Big Cypress, are even at risk from oil and gas drilling.
The best way to protect our climate, health and wildlife is to ban fracking. And what better place to start than on our public lands?
Please join us in telling Interior Secretary Sally Jewell: Our national treasures belong to us, not Big Oil -- ban fracking on public land.
Meat production is one of the planet's largest causes of environmental degradation and most significant threats to wildlife.
And the problem is rapidly getting worse: Production of beef, poultry, pork and other meat products tripled between 1980 and 2010 and will likely double again by 2020. This increasing meat consumption in a world of more than 7 billion people is already taking a staggering toll on wildlife, habitat, water resources, air quality and the climate. Meanwhile, Americans eat more meat per capita than almost any other country in the world.
By signing the pledge below to reduce meat consumption by one-third or more, we can start to take extinction off our plates. Join the Center for Biological Diversity's Earth-friendly Diet Campaign today.
Already a vegetarian? Then you're a valuable wildlife advocate who can help others join the movement. Spread the word by taking the pledge today and asking your friends to sign.
Protect wildlife -- pledge today to eat an Earth-friendly diet.
The beloved dog of a leading ecologist in California was fatally poisoned two weeks ago. The dog's owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, had been investigating a highly toxic rat poison called brodifacoum, commonly found in products such as d-CON.
A necropsy revealed that the dog, a Labrador-retriever mix named Nyxo, had been fed meat by an unknown person. The rat poison brodifacoum was also in Nxyo's body.
Evidence strongly suggests that this poisoning was a blatant attempt to intimidate the scientist -- because the ecologist's research had shown how brodifacoum threatens wildlife, including Pacific fishers and northern spotted owls.
The Center for Biological Diversity and allies have announced a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individuals responsible for this crime.
Please -- take action now and urge California's Attorney General to bring justice to Nyxo's killer.
A disastrous trade deal called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is being negotiated behind closed doors. If passed, it could severely hinder our efforts to stop fracking, the dangerous fossil fuel extraction technique that pollutes our environment, threatens public health and hurts wildlife, from California condors to San Joaquin kit foxes.
The TPP would allow corporations to sue if they think their profits are in jeopardy -- even if the challenge to the company comes from a citizen-approved ban on fracking.
Just last year one enterprise sued Canada for $250 million after the people of Quebec passed a moratorium on fracking under the St. Lawrence River. We cannot allow corporations to run roughshod over local communities' efforts to protect their health and environment from this toxic practice.
The trade deal could also encourage an expansion of dangerous fracking for shale gas by automatically approving future exports of U.S. liquefied natural gas to all parties to the agreement.
President Obama is asking Congress to "fast-track" approval of the TPP by holding an up-or-down vote without allowing for full debate. But we can't let this deal get jammed through Congress.
Take action now and urge your state's representatives to vote no on fast-tracking the TPP.
Despite a moratorium on new oil leases off California's coast, some oil and gas companies are extending the life of existing oil operations by fracking: Old leases that should be retiring are adding to our country's addiction to fossil fuels.
Fracking involves the use of toxic chemicals blasted at high pressures to force oil and gas out of subsea rock. The way the law currently stands, some companies are allowed to dump their wastewater directly into the ocean.
Help save whales, dolphins and fish from unnecessary harm -- insist that our leaders bring a stop to this dangerous practice.
Sign the Center for Biological Diversity's petition below to urge the California Coastal Commission and other leaders to halt offshore fracking now.
Crude-by-rail transport trains carrying volatile Bakken crude oil have been increasingly converging on New York for the last couple years. These are the same trains that, when they derail, create exploding "oil bombs" that have already killed dozens and harmed wildlife.
The mile-long trains bearing dangerous, explosive crude are often called "pipelines on rails," and they threaten towns and cities like Plattsburgh, Buffalo and Albany. They will dirty our waterways -- including Lake Champlain and the Hudson River.
Also, more and more of those trains may be transporting tar sands from Canada as well as Bakken crude -- making an end run around stalled pipeline proposals and further endangering our global climate while harming human and natural communities along the rail routes.
Please take action now to urge the New York Department of Environmental Conservation to rescind its recently approved permit for crude oil transport and instead conduct a full review. It's not too late to put the brakes on this plan before the state of New York plays host to an oil bomb.
Under various names Wildlife Services has exterminated millions of animals since the early part of the 20th century, targeting native carnivores like coyotes and foxes, beavers, birds and many other species at the behest of agribusiness interests. The agency contributed to the decline of gray wolves, black-footed ferrets, black bears and other endangered species -- and it continues to impede their recovery today.
The past five years have been some of the most active for the agency, withabout 1.5 million native animals killed each year. And this killing goes on unchecked -- without public accountability, oversight or clear rules.
The Center for Biological Diversity filed a petition in December to put an end to the massacre. We're calling for this U.S. Department of Agriculture agency to operate under new rules to ensure that animals aren't killed without cause or by accident, that animals are only killed when nonlethal means are exhausted, and that reliable information on all killings is made public.
Please act now to tell Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to rein in this out-of-control, wildlife-killing agency.
Voracious, exotic bullfrogs are destroying native wildlife across the western United States.
In California bullfrogs eat and outcompete animals like the endangered California tiger salamander and California red-legged frog. They also spread deadly diseases like chytrid fungus, which is wiping out native frog and toad populations.
Millions of bullfrogs are imported into the Golden State each year for food, pets or dissection. But many bullfrogs escape or get set free, largely defeating taxpayer-funded conservation efforts to remove nonnative bullfrogs from the wild.
Bullfrogs also threaten California's amphibian populations, which already face unprecedented declines from habitat destruction, climate change and other forces.
Sign the Center for Biological Diversity's petition below and tell Governor Jerry Brown to ban the import and sale of bullfrogs in California.
We've gotten lead out of gasoline and paint. It's time to get the lead out of hunting ammunition.
Every year, millions of animals -- including endangered condors and bald eagles -- are poisoned when they eat spent lead shot or lead fragments from lead ammunition that's been used to kill wild game. More than 130 species of wildlife are being needlessly poisoned and killed. Hunters and their families are also put at risk if they eat game shot with lead ammunition.
It's time for the Environmental Protection Agency to take action.
The EPA can address these preventable deaths through the Toxic Substances Control Act, a well-established and time-tested federal law aimed at limiting exposure to dangerous substances like lead. This landmark law can be used to phase out toxic lead ammunition.
Effective, nontoxic bullets and shot are widely available and in many cases are now comparable in price to lead -- there's simply no reason to continue to use toxic ammo for hunting when it ends up in the food chain.
The NRA has been fighting common-sense measures to protect wildlife from lead ammunition. But, if we're going to save birds and other animals from lead poisoning, we must set aside politics and do what's right for America's wildlife.
Use the form below to tell the EPA to get poisonous lead out of hunting ammunition.
Turtles are dying off at an alarming pace -- rates never seen before -- under terrible pressure from habitat loss, road kill and other threats. But one of those threats could prove fairly simple to tackle: turtle races. Annual turtle races strain native turtle populations every year -- thousands of turtles are removed from the wild and raced at turtle races held in small towns across the country.
It’s easy to believe little harm is done when turtles caught, then released back into the wild after the races, but the fact is that these races can expose turtles to deadly diseases. Those diseases spread to wild populations when the turtles are released. Ranavirus is a sickness causing particular concern; it has caused widespread turtle, frog and salamander deaths in 25 states.
Many of the threats native turtles face are difficult problems to solve -- but turtle races have an easy fix. Just stop using turtles caught in the wild. Many towns already use creative substitutes for wild-caught turtles, such as river races using rubber turtles or races where people pull toy turtles on strings.
Please take action now: Sign the petition below and ask communities to stop using wild-caught turtles in their turtle races.
California's water, environment and wildlife urgently need your help.
Currently dry regions in the south of the state get water pumped from the far north via the San Francisco-San Joaquin Bay Delta. Limits on this pumping help protect endangered species: The pumps must be shut off or pumping reduced periodically in order to protect endangered Delta smelt from getting sucked into the pumps.
Unfortunately a newly proposed "solution" to these protections, called the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, would divert the water around the Delta with two massive underground tunnels. This solution will further harm the smelt and other wildlife that depend on the Delta.
The Center for Biological Diversity is actively challenging the plan to making sure that endangered species are not harmed by the tunnels, but we need your help.
Please take action using the form below. Tell state and federal agencies to protect endangered species and reject the Delta Plan and its twin tunnels.
Every day the wildlands of Appalachia are under attack as millions of pounds of explosives are detonated in the mountains, sending toxic dust into the air. Then the mining waste is then dumped directly into streams. All of this destruction is in the name of mountaintop removal mining that poisons water and destroys wildlife habitats and human communities.
Right now Congress has the opportunity to place a moratorium on this dangerous practice -- and we need your help to make that happen.
More than 500 mountains and 2,000 miles of streams have already been destroyed. In some counties, nearly a quarter of the total land area has been permitted for surface mining with devastating effects on human health and wildlife.
People living in areas of mountaintop removal mining face significantly elevated rates of cancer, birth defects and other major health problems like kidney, heart and respiratory diseases. And what's bad for people is also bad for wildlife. Mountaintop removal threatens endangered fish, salamanders, crayfish and freshwater mussels found nowhere else in the world.
A new bill in Congress would protect Appalachia from mountaintop removal and ensure that human health and endangered species aren't sacrificed for the coal industry's profit. Please take action now to urge your representatives to support the Appalachian Community Health Emergency Act and place a moratorium on mountaintop removal permits.
Any way you look at it, Keystone XL is an environmental nightmare.
If we're going to stop this disastrous project and preserve a safer, saner future for our planet, we have to take to the streets and town halls and store fronts and the pipeline route to make our presence felt.
President Obama needs to hear from Americans in every corner of the country, from the rooftops of Brooklyn to the grasslands of Nebraska to the coasts of California.
Please join with the Center for Biological Diversity in signing our pledge to stop Keystone XL and demand a future that preserves the animals and the wild places we all love. More than 60,000 have already signed.
Don't let the politicians and bureaucrats fool you: The Mid County Parkway is an environmental and financial boondoggle.
The parkway would hurt threatened and endangered species and habitat for thousands of birds including the Southwestern willow flycatcher. It would encourage urban sprawl, increase traffic and greenhouse gas emissions, threaten water supplies and reduce available farmland. This new highway is slated to cut through the heart of the San Jacinto Valley, a biodiversity hotspot and globally important bird nesting and breeding area.
To add insult to injury, with a price tag of $2 billion it's a major waste of taxpayer money. There are smarter, cleaner, cheaper transportation options. Even at half its original size, the Mid County Parkway is still an oversized disaster.
Use the form below to speak out now. Tell the Riverside County Transportation Commission to say no to outdated road building that favors trucks and big-money developers over people and threatens one of Southern California's most precious biodiversity hotspots.
California is on the brink of rapidly expanding fracking in our Golden State, despite the risks to our air, water, wildlife, communities and climate.
Across the country, more than 1,000 documented cases of water contamination have been associated with fracking and drilling, which pollutes our air with toxic chemicals and emits methane, a highly potent greenhouse gas. It also opens up new areas to fossil fuel development at a time when we need to transition rapidly to a clean and renewable energy future.
Governor Brown should follow the lead of New York, New Jersey and Vermont and prohibit fracking to protect our wildlife, our natural resources, our health and our climate. That's why the Center for Biological Diversity is joining our allies in pushing to get more signatures in support of a fracking ban than on any other environmental petition in the state’s history. We need your help now to make it happen.
Please use the form below to sign the Center's petition to urge Gov. Brown to ban fracking.
Rat poisons are made to kill rats, but many of the most dangerous of these poisons accidentally poison wildlife, pets and even children.
The most hazardous of all are what's called second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides -- or "super-toxic" rat poisons. They work by interfering with normal blood clotting and induce a slow, agonizing death by internal bleeding. Endangered San Joaquin kit foxes, golden eagles and Pacific fishers are bleeding to death because of them.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is trying to address the problem of accidental poisoning by banning super-toxic poisons and by placing common-sense restrictions on certain dangerous products. The makers of d-CON -- one brand of those products -- are opposing the agency's decision in order to continue selling hazardous poisons.
Thankfully, stores have the power to control which poisons they put on the shelves. Please use the form below to ask retailers to save countless lives by pulling deadly d-CON poisons from their stores.
California's ORV division has never addressed the serious environmental damage to soil, water quality, vegetation and endangered species at Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area, a moonscape of completely eroded hills. Yet the agency now wants to let intensive ORV use tear up Alameda-Tesla purchase lands.
Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area is updating its general plan and will be preparing an "environmental impact report," but its notice for the environmental review leaves out any mention of expanding destructive ORV use. It likewise fails to describe the important biological resources in the Tesla area that would be destroyed -- or any alternative uses for the park.
The Center for Biological Diversity has joined with the Friends of Tesla Park to preserve the Tesla lands as a nonmotorized park and low-impact recreation area, to save its historic and natural resources.
Please use the form below to protect Tesla from being pulverized by ORVs.
In 2011 the Big Five oil companies made $137 billion in profits. During just the first quarter of 2012, Chevron, BP, Conoco Phillips, Shell and Exxon Mobil made a combined $368 million per day. At the same time, atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide are now the highest the Earth has seen in 15 million years, and the decade from 2000 to 2010 was the warmest on record.
Despite this crisis, our government continues to subsidize fossil fuels at nearly six times the rate of renewable energy. Our government needs to stop rewarding big polluters for destroying our climate. At a time when they should be slapped with a damage bill, offering these dirty-energy profiteers a government handout is absurd.
But the fossil fuel giants aren't going to give up without a fight, so we need an unstoppable groundswell of support for this important effort.
Please, sign the petition to Congress and join the Center for Biological Diversity, 350.org and other organizations around the country to support stripping away these outrageous subsidies.
Your beach may be more polluted than you think. Each hour we dump one ton of invisible pollution into the ocean; if it were a visible, tangible substance like oil, we would demand that the spill be halted. Even though you can't see it, this pollution threatens our sea life -- from the smallest of plankton to the greatest of whales.
The pollution is carbon dioxide, and it's making our oceans more acidic. Ocean acidification is linked to global warming in that both are caused by CO2 buildup and both threaten to cause unprecedented devastation to the planet's biome. The early effects are already here: Baby oysters cannot survive in waters off the Pacific Northwest, coral growth has been stunted in Florida, and polar waters have eroded the shells of prey that sustain Alaska's salmon and whales.
Sign the petition below and tell the president and the Environmental Protection Agency we must act now to end ocean acidification. The science is in, and there's no debate: Ocean acidification threatens our marine life and coastal communities. The EPA has the tools to prevent ocean acidification from hurting corals, sea otters, salmon and whales, but it must act swiftly.
Each year thousands of rattlesnakes are removed from the wild and killed at "rattlesnake roundups." Rattlesnakes play a key role in the food web, maintaining balance in nature by preying on rodents, but hunting of snakes for roundups is pushing some species toward extinction.
Please sign this petition asking communities to change their roundups to festivals where snakes are not hunted or killed. Several communities have already changed their roundups to wildlife-appreciation festivals, which generate important income for the communities and educate the public about the importance of saving native species, not slaughtering them.
Overfishing is pushing bluefin tuna to the brink of extinction. These magnificent animals are famous for their racecar-like speeds, but their population has been reduced to historically low levels by more than 80 percent since industrial fishing began.
The government ignored the danger to bluefin tuna and gave industry its way when it denied Endangered Species Act protection to the fish in June 2011. After years of catching Pacific bluefin tuna before they reproduced, now Pacific populations are at critically low levels, having declined 96.4 percent from unfished levels.
So right now the best way to stop overfishing is to vote with your plate.
Bluefin tuna remains a prized menu item in some restaurants. Send the message that serving bluefin tuna is unacceptable by signing our pledge; then share this with your friends and local restaurants.
Prominent climate researchers have warned that we must reduce the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide to 350 parts per million (ppm) or below in order to stabilize climate change and avoid global catastrophe. The Center for Biological Diversity, along with Bill McKibben's group 350.org, is advocating strongly for this necessary standard.
While carbon dioxide isn’t the only global warming pollutant we need to control, it’s the number-one contributor to climate change.
Please take one minute to join us in moving toward a real solution to the climate crisis by calling on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to do its job as science, the law and common sense require. Sign the People's Petition to Cap Carbon at 350 Parts Per Million today.
Okinawa is home to ecologically significant coral reefs that support more than 1,000 species of reef fish, marine mammals, and sea turtles. Creatures like the highly imperiled dugong, a critically endangered and culturally treasured animal, rely on these reefs for their survival.
But the U.S. government is planning to build a new American military base atop a healthy coral reef that will likely destroy the diverse array of animal life the reef supports, including at least nine species threatened with extinction. Okinawa's coral reefs are already threatened by global warming and pollution: More than half have disappeared over the past decade. We must protect the reef and its inhabitants.
American, Japanese, and international organizations have spoken out for this critical area and against the potential harm that the new military base would cause. Back in 1997, Japan's Mammalogical Society placed the mighty dugong, a distant relative of the manatee, on its "Red List of Mammals," estimating the population in Okinawa to be critically endangered. Our own Endangered Species Act lists the dugong and three sea turtles affected by the project as endangered or threatened. The U.S. government's Marine Mammals Commission has weighed in with fears that the project would be a serious threat to the dugong and other animals' survival, and the World Conservation Union's dugong specialists have expressed similar concerns.
Construction of the offshore facility will devastate the marine environment and have dramatic consequences for oceangoing birds and coastal species as well. In addition to destruction of the coral reef off the coast of Henoko village, the planned base will deplete essential freshwater supplies, increase the human population in sensitive areas, and encourage more environmentally harmful development -- causing irreversible ecological damage to one of the most diverse ecosystems on earth. The U.S. government must abandon this plan.
Environmental groups from both sides of the Pacific Ocean -- the Center for Biological Diversity and the Turtle Island Restoration Network in the United States and Dugong Network Okinawa, Save the Dugong Foundation, Committee Against Heliport Construction/Save Life Society, and the Japan Environmental Lawyers Federation in Japan -- have filed a lawsuit in federal district court in San Francisco against the U.S. Department of Defense to stop the base. While early success in the case stalled the project for several years, the Center and its allies are now back in court fighting to end to the construction.
We need your help to speak out. Please take a minute to send the letter below to President Barack Obama, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Ambassador to Japan John Roos.