The U.S. Forest Service has published drafts of plans for the Inyo, Sequoia and Sierra national forests. These plans, which will determine how the forests are managed over the next 20 years, are abominable.
Instead of protecting our public lands and the wildlife that make their home there, the draft plans expand the Service's power to allow the most destructive forms of logging, including clear-cutting and salvage logging.
Clear-cutting and group selection (a technical term for mini-clearcuts about 3 acres in size) remove all the trees from one area at the same time, leaving only stumps behind. Salvage logging, which removes trees impacted by fire, destroys rich and necessary habitat for wildlife -- research shows that fire-killed trees are ecological gems that need to be protected, not logged. The Service's new plans would also allow expansion of a logging technique called "mechanical thinning." Some thinning can be helpful for reducing fire risk in areas adjacent to human communities, but the plans call for increased mechanical thinning in backcountry areas where it will harm habitat for rare wildlife.
Forest plans are supposed to contain what are referred to as "standards and guidelines." But these new draft plans contain no meaningful standards or guidelines to prevent the Forest Service from harming important wildlife habitat or using destructive logging techniques in the wrong places. The new plans put a number of rare species at risk, including California spotted owls, fishers and black-backed woodpeckers.
You will also be sorely disappointed to hear that although the Service could have recommended the addition of hundreds of thousands of wilderness acres to the national forests, it thus far is seeking zero new acres for the Sequoia or Sierra national forests.
These forest management plans must be revised. Using the form below, tell the Forest Service to go back to the drawing board.
The future of grizzly bears in the Yellowstone region is at a pivotal point. Following a recent proposal from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove grizzlies from the endangered species list, Idaho just released proposed rules for public comment, which will determine how the state's bears are managed if federal protections are removed.
So far it doesn't look good: The rules aim to allow trophy hunts.
This destructive proposal comes at a time when key grizzly bear food sources in the heart of the Yellowstone ecosystem have been collapsing and grizzly mortality rates have been on the rise. It also fails to see the big picture, in which these bears have recovered in only 4 percent of their historic range.
Using the form below, let Idaho know that trophy hunting is not appropriate for this recovering population -- and if you can, personalize your letter. Comments are due July 27.
A new analysis from the Environmental Protection Agency paints a grim picture for wildlife in the United States. The country's second-most commonly used pesticide, atrazine, is likely harming most species of mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles, especially in the Midwest where its use is highest.
Sadly the findings aren't all that shocking -- we've known about this for decades. The European Union banned atrazine a dozen years ago for exactly this reason.
Around 70 million pounds of atrazine are used every year in the United States on crops, lawns, schools, playgrounds and athletic fields. And it's not just harming wildlife -- atrazine exposure has been linked to birth defects and cancer in humans.
The chemical industry is fighting hard to keep the status quo. Tell the EPA to listen to its own scientists and not the chemical companies. We must ban atrazine now.
Coal is the most widespread and carbon-intensive fossil fuel in use today, a badge that carries no honor. Burning it contributes to, and intensifies, global food and water insecurity, heat waves and other extreme weather events, coastal flooding, Arctic sea-ice melt, coral reef loss and wildlife extinction.
More than 40 percent of all U.S. coal comes from public lands, primarily the Powder River Basin of Wyoming and Montana. A little-known fact: Approximately 95 percent of known U.S. coal reserves are unburnable and must stay in the ground to meet our climate commitments.
Decisions made today about the national coal program will have consequences for our energy and climate future for decades to come.
Urge the Obama administration to evaluate and quantify all the costs and consequences of continuing coal leasing -- on climate, health, lands, rivers and wildlife. Now's the time to phase out coal leasing on our public lands.
California's coastline is some of the most beloved and valuable land in the world. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that real-estate development interests have been secretly trying to influence decision-makers. After a series of controversies this year over how California's coastal zone is being managed, and for whom, new legislation seeks to ensure the people's business is conducted in the open rather than in private meetings.
The California Coastal Commission was created in the 1970s by the landmark Coastal Act to protect the coast and its unique wildlife habitat. But in recent years, its mission has been compromised by private meetings between its politically appointed commissioners and those seeking to maximize the value of their coastal real-estate investments. First it was a rock star getting preferential treatment after meeting privately with commissioners in Ireland. Then a series of private meetings undercut a staff recommendation to deny the massive Banning Ranch project in Newport Beach late last year. Finally there was this year's controversial firing of Executive Director Charles Lester in a coup orchestrated by the most pro-development commissioners.
Current rules require commissioners to report private communications, but those rules were ignored by Commission Chair Steve Kinney in the Banning Ranch case. And even when the rules are followed, they do little to deter unfairly influenced decisions or illuminate what really takes place during private meetings.
Senate Bill 1190 would ban all ex parte communications and require the people's business to be conducted in open session. Let your representatives know you support it.
The tropical fish trade has a deadly secret. Each year up to 90 percent of the 12.5 million tropical fish entering the United States as pets are caught illegally using cyanide poison.
The process is as horrific as you imagine -- divers in countries like Indonesia and the Philippines squirt deadly liquid cyanide directly onto coral reefs.The poison wreaks havoc on the environment, killing coral and as much as 75 percent of the nearby fish population on contact. The dead fish are left floating along ruined reefs, while the stunned survivors are collected and shipped to the United States to be sold for aquariums. As much as 500 metric tons of cyanide are dumped annually on reefs in the Philippines alone. The damage done is incalculable. It must stop.
Urge federal authorities to use their power under the Lacey Act to halt illegal imports and help end this outrageous practice.
Because moose are built to live in cold environments, our warming climate puts them at increased risk of overheating, leading to malnutrition and lowered immune systems. Making matters worse, ticks and other parasites that harm moose thrive with rising temperatures.
These threats -- along with habitat destruction from logging and mining in the North Woods -- are pushing moose to the brink in the upper Midwest. In fact, Minnesota has already lost more than half of its moose, and scientists have warned that the animals could disappear from the state within five years if the trend isn't reversed.
Fortunately there's still hope for preserving this piece of the region's natural heritage: In response to a petition from the Center, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced that moose in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and North Dakota may warrant federal protection.
Join others in defending these beautiful giants of the North Woods. Urge the Service to quickly move forward with protections for moose.
Do you live in the United States? Do you eat commercially grown almonds, pistachios, citrus, grapes or vegetables? If so, there's a chance you're eating food that was grown using treated waste from toxic oilfields.
Big Oil makes millions by selling recycled waste from oilfields to Central Valley farmers desperate for water. Hundreds of chemicals are used in oil operations, some known to cause cancer, kidney failure and liver damage -- and these chemicals could be in the oil waste used to irrigate our nuts, fruits and vegetables. California grows about half of all of the produce in the U.S., so this is a problem for all of us.
Though California regulators have never conducted a comprehensive, independent analysis of recycled oil waste, a recently published scientific study found that treated oil wastewater sold to California farmers contained dangerous levels of acetone, oil and methylene chloride (a known carcinogen).
The state has convened a panel to review statewide practices, but the process is plagued by shoddy testing standards, poor public access and the presence of oil industry representatives on the panel. Meanwhile, we're still eating food grown with oil waste. And as California braces for another dry summer, plans are underway to expand the use of oil wastewater for crop irrigation.
We need to put an end to this practice immediately. Please sign this petition urging Gov. Jerry Brown and California water officials to prohibit the use of oil wastewater for crop irrigation in California.
They're at it again. Attached to this year's "Department of Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill" (the annual spending bill for agencies like the EPA and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) are several disastrous riders that have nothing to do with our nation's budget and are a shameful attempt to undermine science, democracy and environmental laws. Republicans in Congress are trying to sneak these riders through -- and we need your help to make sure that doesn't happen.
Please call your representatives and tell them to vote no on this bill until these riders are removed. If these riders go through, gray wolves in Wyoming and the Great Lakes region will lose federal protections, greater sage grouse will never get the protection they need, and endangered salmon and Delta smelt may never get a chance to thrive in the wild.
You can leave your message with the receptionist or at the office's voicemail.
Here's a sample call script. Type in your ZIP code below to get your representatives' phone numbers, then let us know you called.
Hi, my name is ______, and I live in ______. I'm calling to urge you to oppose the gray wolf delisting rider and any anti-endangered species riders that have been, once again, attached to this year's Interior appropriations bill. These riders have nothing to do with our nation's budget and are a shameful attempt to undermine science, democracy and environmental laws.
Please stay strong -- do not cut any deal that would undermine the Endangered Species Act or our environmental protections. Thank you.
Food date labels are notoriously confusing -- a problem that's led to 90 percent of Americans tossing perfectly safe food because the date printed on the packaging has passed. But before you do so next time, consider: Unless they're printed on infant formula, those expiration dates are virtually unregulated.
When food is wasted, all of the land, water, pesticides, fossil fuels and other costs to wildlife and the environment that went into producing that food are wasted, too. And Americans waste a lot of food -- about 40 percent of edible food goes uneaten, and too much of that is thrown away simply because of arbitrary dates on packaging.
The Food Date Labeling Act, introduced by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), would create a national system for date labels that distinguishes between when food may have passed its peak freshness and when it may become unsafe, in addition to allowing food to be sold or donated past its "best if used by" date.
It's estimated that creating a standard, meaningful system for expiration dates could divert nearly 400,000 tons of food from landfills each year and save more than 1.5 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions and 192 billion gallons of water.
Help fight food waste by urging your legislators to support the Food Date Labeling Act and keep food, money and natural resources out of the garbage.
Right now, industry special interests are trying to pass one of the most environmentally damaging energy bills ever contemplated in Congress. If it becomes law, our efforts to protect wildlife and public lands, and avoid disastrous climate change, will be set back by decades.
The list of riders attached to the so-called "Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016" (S.2012) is appalling. If passed, the bill would:
Fast-track the approval and expansion of fracking projects nationwide;
Accelerate the logging and burning of precious trees for electricity;
End federal protections for gray wolves in Wyoming and the Great Lakes region;
Undermine global efforts to stem the slaughter of African elephants;
Allow big agribusiness to wreck California's Bay-Delta ecosystem; and
Expedite mining on public lands without
meaningful environmental review.
Write your senators today and tell them to reject this horrible bill outright because big-business giveaways are not the path to the clean-energy future we need.
Frog songs are music to our ears -- but they're also a key tool for tracking the health of wildlife and ecosystems. For years the U.S. Geological Survey has overseen the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program, a unique initiative that trains novice enthusiasts ("citizen scientists") to get out in the field, identify frog calls and submit data to a central website. Government scientists use this information to study and document the status of frogs across the country.
But due to insufficient congressional funding, USGS had to shutter this program in 2016 -- bringing years of important research to a halt and hindering many state conservation efforts. This is bad news for amphibians, which increasingly face extinction from threats like pollution, habitat destruction and climate change.
Don't let our amphibians lose this crucial support. Tell Congress to restore funding for the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program.
Gopher tortoises spend their days munching leafy greens under open canopies of pine trees and industriously digging burrows to hide from extreme weather and predators. But they're also team players, sharing their burrows with hundreds of other species like rabbits, foxes, quail, owls, frogs and rare eastern indigo snakes.
Unfortunately this keystone species is struggling to survive as its woods are destroyed to make way for pine plantations and urban development. Although western populations of gopher tortoises are protected under the Endangered Species Act, eastern populations are not -- and they continue to lose their homes and lives.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service knows these tortoises are on the road to extinction, but relegated them to a waiting list that offers them no protection. Many candidate species have gone extinct waiting for the Act's vital safeguards; the gopher tortoise has already waited for more than a decade. Time is of the essence.
Tell the Service to protect eastern gopher tortoises before it's too late.
Research shows that we can't meet international climate targets without reducing meat and dairy consumption. The U.S. Department of Agriculture had the opportunity to include sustainability in its latest dietary guidelines, but the agency ignored the science and overwhelming public support, instead releasing recommendations that the meat industry could celebrate.
The agency says that sustainable diets are an important policy conversation, butit remains silent about the effects of America's super-sized appetite for meat and dairy. We need that conversation now more than ever.
Governments around the world -- including the Netherlands, United Kingdom and Sweden -- have published national dietary guidelines urging people to eat less meat. This advice has enormous influence. It can change how people eat and how menus are created in schools and government facilities. And ultimately it can change the quantity of greenhouse gases released into our atmosphere.
It's time for the USDA to acknowledge that animal products demand more resources than plant-based foods and take concrete steps to address the environmental and health problems that come with high meat and dairy consumption.
Urge the USDA to issue a public statement and plan of action to promote a sustainable American diet. Then read and share our Extinction Facts labels.
In December 2014 international mining giant Rio Tinto engineered a backroom deal in the U.S. Congress to authorize a land exchange that would enable it to carve a massive copper mine out of Oak Flat, a precious, unique place that has been off limits to mining for 60 years. This sleazy deal kicked off a campaign of resistance by the San Carlos Apache and their allies, who have occupied Oak Flat continuously since February 2015 in an effort to defend land that is sacred to them.
But the law also mandates that an environmental impact statement be prepared before the land exchange can be completed. This process allows room for public input, which is very important in holding the Forest Service accountable and ensuring a transparent and fair analysis.
Take action now to make sure the Forest Service considers your concerns about the future of Oak Flat. The agency's analysis includes environmental, social, cultural, economic and any other foreseeable impacts, so feel free to add your own concerns to those suggested in the sample letter.
The timelessness of the Grand Canyon; the remote solitude of Alaska's wild frontier; Great Smoky Mountains National Park; the redwoods and the Everglades -- America's public lands are national treasures owned by all of us and held in trust for wildlife and future generations. They include more than 600 million acres of towering forests, rushing rivers, swaying grasslands and magical deserts.
Sadly these special places are under attack, and we need your help to make sure these public lands remain in public hands.
In January, armed militants illegally took over Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in southeastern Oregon. And while the occupation came to an end, the struggle to protect our public lands is far from finished. Politicians in Washington, D.C., and state legislatures across the nation have proposed bills designed to hand over our public lands to the states or private developers. We can't let that happen.
Stand up and protect your public lands. Please sign the petition below and share it with your family, friends and anyone you know who values America's public lands.
Southern Colorado's HD Mountains Roadless Area is rich with ponderosa pine forests, Mexican spotted owls and ancient American Indian sites. Yet hanging over the region is the largest patch of methane pollution in the United States, discovered recently by NASA scientists.
To make matters worse, the U.S. Forest Service now proposes to let the fossil fuel industry drill on an additional 6,000 acres. And not just anywhere -- the plan includes drilling in officially protected roadless areas.
We need your help stopping this proposal. More dangerous drilling on our public lands will only deepen the climate crisis. And the industrialization that comes with such development will ruin remote wildlands and habitat -- values that are rare, and difficult or impossible to replace.
Using the form below, tell the Forest Service to withdraw its proposal immediately and keep these fossil fuels in the ground.
The wildlife haters will stop at nothing to kill America's gray wolves.
We've learned that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's rogue wildlife-killing program, Wildlife Services, is using the gruesome tactic of "Judas" wolves to locate and slaughter whole wolf families.
Wolves are sensitive, intelligent, social animals, and those are exactly the traits the killers at Wildlife Services are exploiting. A Judas wolf is a wolf that is captured, outfitted with a radio collar and turned loose to lead hunters straight to its pack. Once the wolf's family is located, aerial gunners in helicopters swoop in and slaughter it -- leaving the Judas wolf alive to lead the killers to another pack next season.
The Judas scheme -- officially called "collaring for later control" -- uses unsuspecting wolves to betray their families over and over until the day they die, or the batteries in their collars run down.
It's time to end this cruel practice once and for all. Tell Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to immediately end the use of "collaring for later control" to kill entire family packs.
The scientific evidence is extensive and the facts are undeniable: Toxic lead from hunting ammunition enters the food chain and exacts a deadly toll on wildlife. Spent lead ammunition regularly poisons and kills bald eagles, trumpeter swans and other birds. It also poses serious health risks for people who eat wild game.
We've removed lead from our homes, gas tanks and children's toys -- but not from ammunition, a persistent source of toxic lead in the environment. The time to act on this issue is now.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has proposed a reasonable phase-in of nontoxic shot for small-game hunters in farmland Wildlife Management Areas. But in response, right-wing lawmakers proposed House Bill 3209, which would prohibit the agency from adopting rules that further restrict the use of lead shot.
Take action below -- tell your lawmakers that you oppose any legislative efforts to prohibit the state agency from taking reasonable action to safeguard Minnesota's wildlife and human health from lead shot.
In November 2015 conservationists celebrated when the California Fish and Game Commission voted to ban bobcat trapping, an important step toward bringing the state's wildlife management into the 21st century. But the job was left undone: Foxes, coyotes, badgers and a host of other furbearing animals are still subject to cruel trapping, and it's come to light that the state's oversight of its trapping program is illegal.
California law requires that the state's costs of managing a fur-trapping program must be fully recovered through trapping-license fees. But the state spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on wardens, biologists and administrators to oversee trapping, yet only brings in a tiny fraction of that amount in fees. Taxpayers are footing the bill for the rest.
With any luck, that will soon end. At its upcoming meeting the commission will consider a Center for Biological Diversity petition to comply with this never-enforced provision of California law. If implemented, it could mean the end of commercial trapping in the state.
Take action below -- tell California's Fish and Game Commission that you value wildlife alive and fully support ending all commercial fur trapping in the state.
Although leaded gasoline was banned for use in road vehicles in 1995, more than 70 percent of U.S. airplanes still use fuel containing lead. These planes create almost 500 metric tons of lead emissions per year, much of which lingers around airports, exposing an estimated 3 million children who live and go to school in these areas.
A 2011 Duke University study found that children living within about 550 yards of an airport where leaded aviation gas is used have higher blood lead levels than other children. These children are disproportionately low income and from minority populations, reflecting an ugly national truth: Environmental pollution hurts low-income families far more than others.
Lead is an extremely toxic heavy metal that can cause severe nervous system damage, reduced intelligence, behavioral changes and developmental defects that are often irreversible. This is not only the case for humans, but for many species of animals we share this world with. It's high time we stopped using leaded aviation gasoline.
Fortunately, a bill recently introduced into the House of Representatives would result in a ban on leaded aviation gasoline in the United States.
Don't let our children keep breathing lead -- using the form below, please urge your representative to vote yes on the "No Lead in the Air Act of 2016."
The federal government just gave the green light to fracking off California's coast. But offshore fracking is a dirty, dangerous practice that increases the risk of oil spills and earthquakes and has no place in our ocean.
Indeed, even though fracking has a track record of making people sick and polluting the environment, the government just completed a cursory analysis that found offshore fracking has "no significant environmental impacts." This lifts a moratorium won by the Center for Biological Diversity earlier this year.
We must speak out against offshore fracking or oil companies will be allowed to continue dumping an alarming 9 billion gallons of chemical-laden wastewater into our ocean each year. These chemicals have been identified by scientists as among the most toxic to aquatic life -- killing fish and harming sea otters -- and they can harm people too.
Urge Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to protect our oceans and ban offshore fracking.
California state oil regulators recently asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to exempt a San Luis Obispo aquifer from protection under the Safe Drinking Water Act in order to use it as a dumping ground for toxic oil waste.
This outrageous move would allow the oil industry to contaminate an underground water source with dangerous chemicals. In the midst of a devastating drought, polluting our precious water is unacceptable.
We know that many similar applications across the state are waiting on the outcome of this application, which will set a precedent for the security of all other aquifers in California.
If the EPA approves the exemption, California's precious aquifers will become trash dumps for the oil industry.This decision has a potential impact on water for thousands of communities across California.
EPA Region 9 is considering the fate of California's water right now, and that's why they need to hear from you. Join us to demand they deny Big Oil's application to pollute.
For centuries Apache people have held religious and coming-of-age ceremonies at Oak Flat, a sacred site in central Arizona's wild, beautiful and juniper-flecked Tonto National Forest. That's why the area was formally withdrawn from all mining 60 years ago by President Eisenhower.
Yet in December 2014 Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) led an effort to trade this sacred land away to international mining giant Rio Tinto in a midnight rider on a defense bill. This political double-dealing was an egregious betrayal of the Apache people and all other Americans who value public lands for what they are, not the profits they can produce for foreign corporations.
Thankfully Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) has introduced a bill to repeal the Oak Flat giveaway, S.B. 2242. This follows on the heels of a similar bill introduced last year by Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), H.R. 2811.
Now's the time to urge your senators to cosponsor S.B. 2242 and repeal the Oak Flat land swap. Together these bills offer an exciting pathway to save a precious place.
Recent video shows the only known wild jaguar in the United States in his natural habitat in southern Arizona, where he's been living for more than three years. The stunning footage, captured on remote-sensor cameras, gained national attention for this beautiful cat, named El Jefe by Tucson school kids.
Many people aren't aware that El Jefe's home is threatened by a massive open-pit copper mine. The proposed Rosemont Mine would blast a mile-wide hole in the ground thousands of feet deep and bury thousands of acres of public land under 800-foot-high piles of toxic mine waste, right in the middle of El Jefe's home territory.
And the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service --the agency tasked with protecting and preserving endangered species in the United States -- just gave its approval for this mine project. Documents show that this horrifying decision flies in the face of what the Service's own scientists recommend. It is part of a distressingly familiar pattern of the Service caving to political pressure at the expense of our native wildlife.
Take action -- let Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe know that the decision to allow the destruction of El Jefe's home is unacceptable.
Texas state officials are considering a ban on "gassing," a barbarous hunting technique used to drive snakes out of their underground shelters. Hunters pour gasoline into snake dens and capture snakes that emerge seeking fresh air.
Gassing is already banned in dozens of states, including all the states bordering Texas, for good reason: Underground dens offer important shelter to hundreds of species, including foxes, lizards, birds and invertebrates. In Texas 20 endangered species living underground can be harmed by suffocating gas fumes.
Only with your support can we convince Texas wildlife officials to stop the cruel and unnecessary practice of using noxious chemicals to hunt wildlife.
Please -- add your name to our petition by filling out the form below.
Following the signing of the historic Paris Agreement, President Obama has a chance to take real climate action by declaring a "national emergency" and banning all U.S crude oil exports. More than 350 environmental, social-justice, health and faith organizations have urged him to do just that. Now you can join them.
As global temperatures hit record highs, climate change is unquestionably a national emergency. In fact, it's a "global emergency," according to renowned climate scientist Dr. Jim Hansen.
The president must halt crude exports to give America -- and the world -- a fighting chance to meet the Paris Agreement's crucial goals of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Halting U.S. oil exports could prevent up to 500 million tons of greenhouse emissions -- the pollution equivalent of more than 135 coal-fired power plants -- from entering our atmosphere. Stopping these exports would also curb the dangerous U.S. fracking boom.
Last December, less than a week after agreeing to the Paris climate accord, President Obama signed an omnibus bill lifting a 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports. This was a grave mistake, even if the bill was "must pass." But fortunately there's still a way forward: President Obama can declare a national emergency and prohibit exports for a one-year period, which can be renewed indefinitely.
Please sign our petition calling on the president to declare a climate emergency, reinstate the ban on crude oil exports, and keep fossil fuels in the ground.
After evaluating more than 800 scientific studies, the World Health Organization has concluded that processed meats like bacon, sausage and ham are known to be carcinogenic to humans, classifying these meats alongside cigarettes and asbestos. The WHO also classified red meat as a probable carcinogen.
Meat production -- particularly of red and processed meat -- is also a known hazard to the environment, responsible for massive amounts of greenhouse gas emissions, toxic pollution and habitat loss for threatened and endangered species.
Now that the verdict is in, these dangerous meats must be labeled under California's Proposition 65, which requires warnings on all products containing known carcinogens. The powerful meat industry is gearing up to fight this classification, of course, out of fear that informed consumers will choose to eat less meat if they know their health is at stake. Help us fight back.
Take action below -- urge California's health officials to require labels for processed and red meats linked with cancer. As California goes, so goes the nation ... with your help.
Darden Restaurants owns and operates more than 1,500 restaurants -- including Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse and Bahama Breeze. Through these restaurants the company employs more than 150,000 people and serves more than 320 million meals a year, making it the world's #1 full-service restaurant operator.
As a leading food provider, Darden has a unique opportunity and responsibility to use its considerable purchasing power to support a healthier, fairer and more sustainable food system.
Sign our petition below urging Darden to adopt greener menus to promote public health and protect wildlife. With a company this large, the effects of every food choice are magnified.
The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board has an integrated pest-management plan that has occasionally found ways to use natural pest control. But the city's strategy still heavily relies on the use of toxic fungicides, herbicides and insectides -- a policy that flies in the face of the best science and carries huge risk.
Pesticide exposure is associated with numerous health threats, especially to children, pregnant women and the elderly. And pesticides can harm nontarget wildlife, pets and beneficial insects like bees. For example, rodenticides used to control moles also kill foxes and raptors that would naturally control these rodents. And poisons applied to plants can seep into groundwater or get washed directly into local waterways and ponds.
Take action below -- urge the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board to adopt a pesticide-free management policy that's safe for people and wildlife.
With 563 areas designated, the U.S. National Wildlife Refuge System encompasses an incredible collection of habitats that are home to more than 240 endangered species -- from lynx and wolves to a host of rare and fascinating plants and critters.
But unbelievably, while these refuges should be a safe haven, trapping is still allowed in more than half of these federally protected lands.
Jawed traps continue to slam shut with bone-crushing force. Snares continue to fatally tighten around animals' necks. And many nontarget species are also getting hurt or killed. It's time to confront the painfully obvious: Traps don't belong in refuges.
Take action below -- urge your representative and senators in Congress to step up and cosponsor the Refuge From Cruel Trapping Act -- legislation that would at last end trapping in our wildlife refuges.
Making the right calls for conservation isn't always easy. But when thousands of animals' lives are on the line, those calls better be right.
That's why we must demand the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service revoke its permit for the U.S. Army Corps to kill more than 10,000 double-crested cormorants and destroy more than 26,000 cormorant nests on East Sand Island, near the mouth of the Columbia River. The government agencies are scapegoating these native birds for declines of imperiled salmon and steelhead -- but the real problem is mismanagement of the area's dams, which are disrupting fish runs.
A recently released document shows that the Service's own biologists found that fish eaten by the birds would have died anyway, consumed by other predators. It makes no sense, then, to kill cormorants. Doing so will not help endangered fish.
Take action below -- urge the Service to revoke its kill permit and save these cormorants, whose population in the West is already down to less than 10 percent of historic levels due to drought, climate change and human control.
The Center for Biological Diversity has launched a groundbreaking campaign to end all new fossil fuel development on America's public lands, and now we need your help to drum up support and help break the flow of business as usual.
Under his "all of the above" energy policy, President Obama has already leased nearly 15 million acres of public land and 21 million acres of ocean to the fossil fuel industry. And, in total, more than 67 million U.S. acres -- an area 55 times larger than Grand Canyon National Park -- are now leased to the fossil fuel industry.
But importantly, those fossil fuels that haven't yet been leased contain up to 450 billion tons of potential climate pollution. That's over a quarter of the world's remaining carbon budget and vastly more than any U.S. share of it. We simply can't burn it -- and if we can't burn it, it should be banned.
Take action below -- sign our petition urging President Obama to step up as a true climate leader and stop new fossil fuel development on America's public lands and waters.
With threats like habitat destruction, toxic pesticides and climate change, amphibians and reptiles 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, and are key indicators of ecosystem health.
That's why the Center for Biological Diversity filed a 2012 petition -- the largest of its kind in history -- seeking protection for dozens of our nation's rarest herpetofauna. In response to our petition, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is now considering whether 35 of these "herps" deserve protection under the Endangered Species Act.
With your help we can save the alligator snapping turtle -- the largest freshwater turtle in North America -- and the inch-long Illinois chorus frog, as well as dozens of other species.
Urge the Service to move quickly to protect these rare amphibians and reptiles.
Grizzly bears once roamed across California for centuries -- from the state's mountains to its valleys and beaches. But decades of persecution drove them off the landscape, and the last grizzly in California was tragically shot in 1924.
Now it's time to bring the bears back.
We're calling on the California Fish and Game Commission to consider options to reintroduce grizzlies in California's Sierra Nevada, where there are 8,000 square milesof prime habitat.
Grizzlies today survive in just a few pockets in the Rocky Mountains -- roughly 4 percent of their historic range in the lower 48. If these endangered bears are going to truly recover, they need to be returned to more of their native homes in the American West (remote places typically far away from people).
Grizzlies are so iconic in California that they're on the state flag -- even if they are no longer on the land. Please sign our petition below to return California grizzly bears and a renewed sense of the wild to the Golden State.
In most towns it'd be considered unthinkably cruel to have a contest where citizens catch and kill an animal with no limit. But in the Southeast two rattlesnake "roundups" still exist where killing wildlife is supposed fun.
The target of the two roundups in Whigham, Ga., and Opp, Ala., is the rare eastern diamondback rattlesnake. Populations of the snake have been so destroyed that, following a Center petition, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found that these rattlers may need protection as an endangered species.
Rattlesnakes play a key role in the food web, especially in terms of rodent control. And because hunters often use gasoline to drive snakes from their dens, roundups are also harmful to hundreds of other species that share the dens as a home.
Take action below -- urge the mayors of Whigham, Ga., and Opp, Ala., to convert their roundups into wildlife-friendly festivals where no snakes are killed.
California communities have been ordered to make huge water-use cuts to fight drought, but the state's plan gives oil companies a free pass to continue using and contaminating huge amounts of water.
Every day illegal disposal wells dump about 27 million gallons of toxic oil waste into protected aquifers. And on top of these risks to our water supply, injecting oil wastewater underground can trigger earthquakes.
We can't sit back as the oil industry continues to poison our precious water and jeopardize public safety. We don't need a gradual phaseout of these wells, and creating new loopholes to allow currently protected aquifers to be used as garbage dumps for the oil industry isn't a solution. We're suffering the worst drought in recorded history, and so we need Gov. Brown to immediately halt these illegal activities.
Take action below -- sign our petition urging Gov. Brown to shut down these illegal wells and immediately ban fracking in California.
Dozens of towns along California's treasured central coast, from Sacramento to Los Angeles, could soon see mile-long oil trains rumbling through filled with dangerous crude oil if we don't act fast.
On the table before San Luis Obispo officials is a proposal for a crude-by-rail expansion in Santa Maria by oil-giant Phillips 66. The only possible benefit from this project is added profit for the oil company -- everyone else along the rail route will be left to deal with the fallout.
Our railways weren't built to transport this kind of oil, and our first responders aren't prepared to fight the fires, explosions and spills that could ensue. The toxic tar sands these trains carry is also some of the most climate-polluting crude on Earth. Even Phillips 66 admits that transporting this oil will result in "significant and unavoidable" levels of toxins released into the air along the rail route.
We beg to differ: The many harms from this project are significant, but they're not unavoidable.
Take action below -- tell the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors to use their vote to block this dangerous project. Then check out a national map of the oil train blast zone.
You’re young. You’re dismayed by the evidence of so many animals and plants becoming endangered and going extinct; you’re alarmed by the fact that our governments aren’t doing more to curb dangerous climate change.
You want to do all you can to stop extinctions and curb global warming.
That’s all we need to know.
Please sign this pledge to go on record that you’re serious about preserving the wildlife and wild places of Earth — whether it’s by following our everyday life tips or starting your own nonprofit — to play a role in changing the world.
This pledge won’t sign you up for any particular action. It’s our way of giving you a chance to take that leap in your mind and identify yourself as a conservationist. You’ll make a difference.
For your own privacy, we ask that you please use only your first name. Thank you!
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 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 in the past 20 years. One of the main causes of its decline is the widespread use of Monsanto's Roundup (glyphosate) -- which is wiping out milkweed, the butterfly's only host plant.
That's why we've petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list monarchs as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The Act is 99 percent effective at preventing species from going extinct, but a species must first be listed to reap the benefits of the Act's protections.
These incredible creatures need our help to survive. Every year monarchs migrate thousands of miles -- from Mexico to Canada -- in an incredible, multigenerational journey that thrills all who are lucky enough to witness part of it. But without swift action, we may see the end of this migration.
Please sign our petition below to urge the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect monarch butterflies under the Endangered Species Act before it's too late.
Outside of Everglades National Park, the lush habitat provided by pine rockland forest is becoming increasingly rare in south Florida.
Due to urban sprawl and relentless development, this type of habitat has been reduced to just 2 percent of its original amount. And last month the University of Miami sold 88 acres of this rare habitat to Ram Realty Services -- a developer with plans to build yet another strip mall full of chains like Walmart, Chili's and Chick-fil-A.
We can't let this happen. This land is special; it provides some of the last remaining acres for rare and imperiled plants and wildlife like the Florida bonneted bat as well as the Florida leafwing and Bartram's scrub-hairstreak, two butterflies that just received Endangered Species Act protection.
Take action below -- tell Ram we don't need another Walmart. What we need is for our native species to thrive without the constant threat of losing their homes.
The Grand Canyon is a breathtaking, awe-inspiring site visited by millions of people each year. It's surrounded by public lands where native wildlife roam through ancient pines to find lifegiving streams and springs. And this watershed feeds the Colorado River and the iconic Havasupai Falls. It's also the cultural and spiritual home to many tribal nations in the Southwest.
But tragically these lands surrounding the majestic Grand Canyon remain unprotected and open to exploitation. Working with Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), local tribal nations have proposed the creation of the Greater Grand Canyon Heritage National Monument to protect the surrounding 1.7-million-acre watershed from toxic uranium mining and destructive old-growth logging.
Unfortunately Congress isn't likely to support this proposal in time to protect these lands, so we're urging President Obama to use his power under the Antiquities Act to fulfill this 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 Greater Grand Canyon Heritage National Monument.
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 2100.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 2050. This increasing meat consumption in a world of more than 7 billion people is 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'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 and asking your friends to sign.
Protect wildlife -- pledge today to eat an Earth-friendly diet.
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.
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 our petition below and tell Gov. Jerry Brown to ban the import and sale of bullfrogs in California.
Turtles are dying off at an alarming pace -- rates never seen before -- under 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 populations every year -- thousands of turtles are removed from the wild and raced in small towns across the country.
It's easy to believe little harm is done when turtles are caught, then released into the wild after 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 led to 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.
Sign our petition and ask communities to stop using wild-caught turtles in their turtle races.
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 clean, renewable energy.
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.
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.
"Rattlesnake roundups" are cruel contests where hunters bring in as many wild snakes as they can catch in a year; afterwards the snakes are slaughtered and sold for their skin and meat.
They're a serious problem -- one that many people don't even know exist. Roundups in the Southeast, for example, are driving sharp declines of the eastern diamondback rattlesnake, which is the target of contests in Whigham, Ga., and Opp, Ala. In response to a Center petition, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found that eastern diamondbacks may now need Endangered Species Act protection.
Across the country rattlers play a key role in the food web, especially in terms of rodent control. And because hunters often use gasoline to drive snakes from their dens, roundups are also harmful to hundreds of other species that share their homes with the snakes. In Texas, 20 endangered species living underground can be harmed by suffocating gas fumes, which is why the Center recently petitioned to end "gassing" of Texas snake dens.
Please sign our petition asking communities to change their roundups to festivals where snakes are celebrated and admired -- not hunted and killed.
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 2011. After years of catching Pacific bluefin tuna before they reproduced, 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 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.
The governments of Japan and the United States are plowing ahead with construction of a new air base in Japan's Henoko Bay, threatening to destroy the last refuge of the critically endangered Okinawa dugong.
And it's not just dugongs that are in harm's way: Okinawa's coral reefs support an entire world of rare, fascinating and little-known creatures -- and tragically more than half of these reefs have already disappeared due to global warming and pollution.
Eighty percent of the Okinawan people, including their governor, oppose the base. American, Japanese and international organizations have spoken out against it. And both the U.S. Marine Mammals Commission and the World Conservation Union have confirmed that the base is a serious threat to dugongs, which are entitled to protections under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.
Construction of the offshore facility will also deplete essential freshwater supplies, increase the human population in sensitive areas, and encourage more harmful development.
Environmental groups from both sides of the Pacific Ocean have filed a lawsuit 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 allies are now back in court fighting to end the construction.
We need your help. Urge President Barack Obama and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to step in and halt this destructive project.