The Bureau of Land Management has obtained two court orders over the past two decades requiring the rancher Cliven Bundy to remove the cows that have been illegally grazing in the beautiful Gold Butte area just south of Mesquite, Nev. The cows, though, remain on our public land.
The BLM has a duty to manage our public lands in the public interest. But the agency abandoned that responsibility to the public and the land entrusted to it by the American people when it decided last week to halt its roundup of trespassing cattle.
Please help us send a powerful message to the Department of the Interior to uphold its legal and moral responsibility to protect our public land. Management of these lands -- which are vital for wildlife and healthy ecosystems -- shouldn't be dictated by armed thugs and threats of violence but by what's right and what the law says and what the American people expect.
The isolated population of brown bears on Alaska's Kenai Peninsula is in trouble. Last year, even before state hunting regulations were loosened to allow bear baiting, 69 brown bears were killed legally and another 23 were killed illegally -- reducing the total number of adult female bears by 18 percent.
If these practices continue, such high kill rates could quickly lead to a collapse of the Kenai's brown bear population.
This season's forecast is equally grim: 1,300 permits have already been handed out this spring, with another 700 still available, allowing 2,000 hunters to comb the woods to kill up to 70 bears.
The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge took a stand last year to protect this rare and distinct subspecies of Ursus arctos by ending its hunting season early.
Take action below -- urge the refuge to close its lands to brown bear hunting once again to give these bears a fighting chance at survival in their ancestral home.
With only 37 Mexican gray wolves known to be eking out a living in Arizona, the animals desperately need protection and help to survive -- and state lawmakers want to make sure they don't get it.
Four anti-wolf measures are working their way through the Arizona legislature now that could have disastrous effects on struggling wolf populations.
S.B. 1211 seeks to expand the current, limited authority for livestock owners to kill wolves -- encouraging violation of federal law. S.B. 1212 appropriates $250,000 for legal fees racked up to challenge any expansion of the Mexican wolf recovery program in Arizona. Senate Concurrent Resolution 1006 opposes further releases of wolves into the state and supports allowing citizens to kill wolves under broader circumstances than presently permitted. And H.B. 2699 refers to wolves as "varmints" and demands that the federal government creates a new state fund to compensate for their presence.
None of these measures acknowledge wolves' benefits to ecosystems, and they ignore the fact that there's broad support for Mexican gray wolf recovery. Instead they demonize a species that has suffered greatly from unfair persecution, just when we should be working to protect these beleaguered animals and allow them a place in the future.
Please take action to contact your representatives to urge them to vote no on all of these measures.
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.
A new bill before the California state legislature could be the relief we need as a state under the constant threat of a fracking boom: Senate Bill 1132 would halt this toxic practice.
Fracking injects massive quantities of water and toxins into the ground to release fossil fuels. And now the oil industry wants to use this dangerous technique to exploit billions of barrels of oil beneath our cities, farmlands and ocean.
Fracking fouls our air and water, endangers our wildlife and accelerates climate change.
Take action below and urge your state legislators to vote yes on S.B. 1132. Tell them we must pass this bill and halt fracking in California.
The scientific evidence is overwhelming and dates back more than 50 years: Toxic lead from hunting ammunition hurts millions of nontarget wildlife annually.
Nationwide 130 documented species of birds and animals -- from California condors to bald eagles and loons -- have suffered or died from lead poisoning when they scavenged carcasses full of lead-bullet fragments or ate lead-poisoned prey.
Once the toxic lead enters one animal, it's free to move up and down the food chain -- a fact that ought to be especially alarming for people who eat wild game. Lead is a potent neurotoxin -- not safe for humans or wildlife at any level of exposure.
Rhode Island can protect wildlife and people from this unnecessary harm by passing new statewide legislation. House Bill 7838 and Senate Bill 2628 would require the use of nonlead ammunition for all hunting in Rhode Island, to be phased in from 2015 to 2017. California was the first state to pass such legislation in 2013; Rhode Island should be a leader too.
Take action below and urge your state legislators to pass these commonsense bills and help protect Rhode Island's land, water and wildlife from lead contamination.
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.
Few people need reminding -- but in 2010 the British megacorporation BP caused the worst oil spill our nation has ever seen. BP's Deepwater Horizon rig spilled more than 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, harming an unforgivable number of birds, sea turtles and helpless marine mammals -- as well as communities along the coast.
Now BP's back to business as usual, and apparently the Obama administration needs reminding. BP's Whiting refinery in northwest Indiana spilled as much as 1,638 gallons of crude oil on March 24 into Lake Michigan, endangering the area's wildlife and threatening the drinking water supply of 7 million people.
It doesn't have to be this way. The EPA has a responsibility to protect the public by ensuring that our government only does business with responsible companies. Let's face it: BP isn't one of them. The multinational's operations -- from exploration to refining to fuel transport -- have, at some point or another, resulted in violations of our laws.
Take action below and urge the EPA to debar or suspend BP so that we, and our vulnerable wildlife, are safe from further harm.
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.
Four years ago a majestic lone wolf from Oregon, known as OR-7, made international headlines when he crossed into California, the first in the state since 1924. And for four years in a row now, OR-7 has made the Golden State part of his range.
The writing is on the wall: Wolves are returning to California. Oregon's wolf population has nearly tripled in three years, so more wolves will follow. And with federal protections about to be lifted, it's essential that we grant wolves full state endangered species protections now to help them get reestablished.
On April 16 the California Fish and Game Commission will hold a public hearing in Ventura to make a final listing decision for wolves in the Golden State. The Commission will also accept testimony on whether to ban wildlife-killing contests.
So-called "contest-hunts" or "derbies" that award cash and other prizes to those who kill the most or largest animals (often coyotes) are antiquated and brutal. They also put endangered species at risk. And yet California continues to allow the derbies.
Take action below to urge the Commission to grant wolves full protections under the California Endangered Species Act and end these barbaric hunts. Please send your letter by April 3.
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.
Crude-oil transport in the Northeast has been surging for the past two years, and much of it is by rail. Indeed, nearly one-quarter of all North Dakota crude now passes on oil trains into Albany, New York and then on down the Hudson River by rail or ship.
The oil and transportation industries have simply ignored the health and safety threats of these booming shipments to people and the environment. But a large oil spill in the Hudson would be devastating -- and the chance of one occurring is unacceptably high.
In the past two months alone several oil trains have derailed in the Northeast. And in 2013 there was more oil spilled in rail accidents in North America than in the previous four decades combined.
Hudson spill-response teams have a responsibility to protect our communities and minimize harms to wildlife, including the 17 federally protected species that live in the river and bay. The problem is that the sudden surge in this industry has left these teams unprepared such that, in the event of an emergency, we can't be sure that what they'd do would actually help rather than cause more harm.
Act now and urge the U.S. Coast Guard and EPA to update their oil-spill response plan to ensure maximum protection for the many people and precious wildlife of the Hudson River and New York Bay.
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.
Highly adaptable, nonnative snakes pose an unacceptable risk as invaders. Through escape or release, these "pet" snakes invade natural habitats where they pose a threat to endangered and threatened species like coqui llaneros and crested toads.
The snakes also pose a public-safety risk: An escaped constrictor snake strangled a two-year-old Florida girl in her crib.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service took a step in the right direction by banning the importation and interstate trade of four invasive constrictors in 2012. But two years later the agency still hasn't acted on the other five invaders that account for 70 percent of the trade -- the reticulated python, DeSchauensee's anaconda, green anaconda, Beni anaconda and boa constrictor.
In the Everglades the introduction of nonnative pythons is thought to have wiped out most of the native mammals, including raccoons, opossums and bobcats. And boa constrictors have invaded Puerto Rico and are displacing native reptiles.
Take action below to help prevent further harm. Urge the Fish and Wildlife Service to add these five invasive snakes to the Lacey Act's list of "injurious" species.
More gruesome news out of Idaho: Sharpshooters in helicopters just gunned down 23 wolves over the Clearwater National Forest.
If we're going to end this brutality, we need your help. Idaho wolves lost federal protections in 2011, and since then 954 wolves have been killed in the state by recreational hunters and trappers.
Earlier this year Idaho officials hired a gunman to mow down two entire packs in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness. Now it appears they've taken to the skies, sending sharpshooters from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services.
Making matters worse, the Idaho legislature is poised to pass a bill that will allocate $2 million of taxpayer money to kill hundreds of wolves and drive the state wolf population down to only 150 animals.
Once driven to the brink of extinction in the lower 48 states, wolves in recent years have made a remarkable comeback. But their recovery will be tragically undercut if state and federal officials continue to insist on barbaric management that relies on hired killers and gunners in helicopters.
Act now to send a letter to the U.S. Forest Service, Idaho agency heads and elected officials to demand an end to this ruthless, wolf-killing campaign.
On the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, in Arizona's Kaibab National Forest, more than 1,000 rare and ancient trees could soon be logged and hauled out on trucks.
The ponderosa pines -- many of which have been around for centuries and which are known as "yellow-bellies" for the color of their aged bark -- are now the target of a proposed timber sale called "Wild Buck."
The North Rim is one of the few places where these old trees remain in Arizona -- and what's left must be protected. These trees are a beautiful part of Arizona's natural heritage. They're critical to wildlife like imperiled northern goshawks. And because of their thick bark, these pine trees are also naturally resilient to fire.
In the past, misguided fire suppression efforts have allowed thousands of younger trees to grow that would have burned off as saplings during natural fire events. This is where the Forest Service should focus its efforts, since science-based thinning that leaves the biggest trees on the landscape helps reduce crown fires and preserve species habitat.
Take action below and urge the Kaibab National Forest supervisor to stop the proposed "Wild Buck" timber sale and get out of the business of logging old trees that are critical to wildlife and a healthy fire regime.
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.
House Bills 71 and 157 may seem benign at first glance; they call for the creation of an online registry for fracking in Florida. But if these bills pass, they will pave the way for drillers to come to the Sunshine State, frack our fragile subsurface lands, and expose our productive ecosystems to toxic chemicals.
The bills permit the use of the discredited FracFocus.org as the state's official registry, and they expressly prohibit the Department of Environmental Protection from requiring the disclosure of chemical compositions or concentrations. The bills also provide an exemption from public records requirements and allow drillers to report their activities two months after fracking begins.
Help protect Florida's incredible natural resources -- our water, forests, wetlands and wildlife. And help keep our skies clear of the methane this practice would produce.
Act now to tell Governor Rick Scott and your legislators to vote no on H.B. 71 and H.B. 157 and keep fracking out of Florida.
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.
In Texas hunters can still use gassing -- blowing gasoline fumes into snake dens and capturing any snakes that surface in order to breathe.
Gassing is already banned in dozens of states -- including every state that borders Texas -- for good reason: Underground dens provide homes for hundreds of species, including foxes, lizards, birds and invertebrates. In Texas alone 20 endangered species live underground and can be hurt or killed by the toxic fumes.
Texas is proposing to outlaw the practice, but there's some strong opposition. Prohibiting the use of gasoline to hunt snakes would reduce the number of snakes supplied for Texas's "rattlesnake roundups" -- bloody contests where hunters compete for prizes by capturing native snakes. Thousands of Texans attend these gruesome events each year, and roundup supporters fiercely oppose the state's effort to ban gassing.
Please take action now to urge Texas officials to ban the use of gasoline for hunting and protect Texas's snakes and other wildlife that share their underground homes.
Since they were stripped of federal protection in Idaho, 890 wolves have been killed in the state. But Idaho is taking its slaughter one gruesome step further: The state has sent a hired bounty hunter into our public lands to gun down wolves.
Wolves were nearly eradicated in the lower 48 states by government-hired killers. In a cruel twist, after nearly 40 years of work to restore these beautiful animals to the American landscape, Idaho now chooses to send a gunman to mow down two entire wolf packs. There are reports that the bounty hunter has killed seven wolves already.
Wolves evolved over millions of years to create a healthy balance with prey animals like elk and deer. But the hired gun is there to leave more elk for hunters -- even though Idaho wildlife officials say elk numbers are at an all-time high.
Please take action now and send a letter to the U.S. Forest Service and Idaho agency heads, commissioners and elected officials to call off the hunt.
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.
Fracking is currently prohibited in the state of New York while the risks of this fossil fuel extraction process are studied. According to that state's health commissioner, "The time to ensure the impacts on public health are properly considered is before a state permits drilling."
We agree. That's why, here in California, we're urging the Bureau of Land Management to continue its moratorium on new oil lease sales while it studies fracking's threats to the Golden State.
Nationwide the Bureau estimates that 90 percent of new oil and gas wells on federal land are fracked. In California much of the Monterey Shale's estimated 13.7 billion barrels of frackable oil is under federal lands. All that fracking potential means our cherished public lands face severe air and water pollution, animal and plant species that depend on those lands face habitat loss, and humans living and recreating on or near these public lands suffer many health threats.
The best way to protect these national treasures, as well as our climate, is to simply prohibit this inherently dangerous form of fossil fuel extraction -- and what better place to start than by banning fracking on our public lands?
In California we have the chance to take one big step toward that goal.
Please take action now using the form below to tell the BLM to maintain its hold on new oil and gas leasing on California's public lands.
Over the past year, early results on a number of studies showed a direct link between fracking operations and water contamination in Dimock, Pa., Parker County, Texas and Pavillion, Wyo.
Despite this evidence President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency have decided to shut down one fracking investigation after another -- turning their backs on the communities suffering from this technology's harmful effects.
Please join the Center for Biological Diversity and our allies: Tell President Obama and the EPA it's time to do their job. They should reopen critical investigations into the dangers of fracking before it's too late.
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.
Genetically engineered foods -- also called genetically modified organisms or GMOs -- are plants and animals that have been genetically altered in a lab. Scientists take a gene from one animal, plant or bacterium and insert it into another -- for the sake of advantages like better weather tolerance, faster growth or increased pesticide resistance.
But many of these genetic changes haven't been adequately tested -- and various environmental problems have been well documented, from biodiversity loss and an overall increase in pesticide use to the emergence of "superweeds" and unintentional contamination of non-engineered and organic crops.
And these genetically engineered foods sit on our grocery store shelves without any sort of indication that they've been altered. Allowing genetically engineered foods to enter our food supply -- and the natural world -- without our knowledge makes our food and ecological systems deeply vulnerable to the whims and special interests of agribusiness.
A bill called the Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act was recently introduced in Congress. It requires labeling notifications for all genetically engineered foods in the United States. This bill aims to end the policy of keeping consumers in the dark about our food.
You have the right to know what's in your food, so please take action now. Tell Congress to protect our food and pass the Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act.
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.
The Obama administration recently released its "environmental impact statement" on the Keystone XL pipeline -- moving this dirty and disastrous oil pipeline closer to approval.
The administration is now accepting comments on that study. Please let President Obama know that the environmental consequences of the pipeline are too costly -- it should be rejected.
Strip mining of oil from Alberta's tar sands, which will be transported by Keystone XL, is already destroying tens of thousands of acres of boreal forest and polluting hundreds of millions of gallons of water from the Athabasca River -- in the process creating toxic ponds so large they can be seen from space.
Extraction and refinement of tar-sands oil also produces two to three times more greenhouse gases per barrel than conventional oil. The process creates a massive new source of fossil fuels -- eliminating our ability to avoid a climate catastrophe.
Keystone XL would cross the heart of the Midwest and deliver oil from Canada's tar sands all the way to the Gulf of Mexico -- where much of it would be exported to other countries. Along the way the pipeline would cut through rivers, streams and prime wildlife habitat -- including habitat for at least 20 imperiled species like the whooping crane and pallid sturgeon.
Please use the form below to tell the administration to reject Keystone XL and halt its progress for a second time.
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.
There's nothing sporting about poisoning bald eagles. But the NRA and other extremist groups continue to try and push through exemptions for lead ammunition and fishing sinkers.
In 2012 the Center for Biological Diversity led a successful effort to prevent these exemptions through the so-called "Sportsmen's Act," which would have prevented the Environmental Protection Agency -- the same agency that got lead out of paint and gasoline -- from protecting wildlife, as well as families that eat game shot with lead ammunition, from lead poisoning.
The NRA, however, will stop at nothing to get special favors from members of Congress, no matter the cost.
Toxic lead continues to enter the food chain through bullet fragments in game and spent lead shot. Bald eagles, endangered condors and more than 130 species of wildlife are needlessly poisoned or killed by lead left in the wild. The EPA can address these preventable deaths through the Toxic Substances Control Act, a well-established and time-tested federal law aimed at limiting our exposure to dangerous substances like lead.
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 materials for hunting.
More than 250 organizations in 40 states called for regulation of lead ammunition to help defeat the Sportesmen's Act. But the same radical legislation that would gut the Toxic Substances Control Act and prevent the EPA from doing its job could pop up again attached to a must-pass spending bill.
Use the form below to tell President Obama and members of Congress to keep lead poisoning and radical legislation out in 2013.
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. The U.S. government's Marine Mammals Commission is weighing 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.
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.