Every spring the male sage grouse of the Mono Basin cackle and coo and shake their tail feathers in an elaborate courting dance. It's a riveting display in this beautiful place, which lies just east of Yosemite National Park.
But now a host of obstacles stand in the way of this rare and highly imperiled "bi-state" sage grouse. Off-road thrillcrafts buzz through and frighten the timid grouse away. Overgrazing by livestock has changed the composition of the plant communities the birds depend on. And energy developers are trying to move in on the birds' ancestral territories.
As a result bi-state sage grouse now face severe habitat fragmentation and dangerously low numbers -- there may be as few as 1,800 remaining.
Eleven years after the Center for Biological Diversity and allies first sought protection for the grouse, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has finally proposed Endangered Species Act protection for the imperiled bird, along with more than 1.8 million acres of critical habitat.
Please take action now and urge the Service to do the right thing: Protect the dancing birds of Nevada and California.
Pennsylvania House Bill 1576 -- known as the Endangered Species Coordination Act -- may sound like a bold move forward. But in fact it would seriously set back state efforts to protect endangered species.
H.B. 1576 would handcuff the Fish and Boat Commission as well as the Game Commission -- the state's species experts -- and would grant the authority to decide which endangered species are protected in Pennsylvania to the industry-dominated Independent Regulatory Review Commission.
We can't let this happen.
Despite its name, the commission lacks both impartiality and the scientific expertise to make determinations about whether animals like ospreys, great egrets and Indiana bats are endangered and need protection. The commission's process is slow, politicized and redundant -- and it would delay protections for species that urgently need them.
H.B. 1576 is being championed by some of the state's most destructive extractive industries, including mining, fracking and timber. Please take action now to urge your state representative to vote NO on H.B. 1576 and protect Pennsylvania's native species over special interests.
California Governor Jerry Brown's recently proposed fracking rules take a narrow, oil industry-friendly approach to fracking -- leaving California's people, wildlife and climate in danger. The rules would permit fracking, acidization and other high-risk extraction practices to spread across the state.
The safest way forward for California is to ban fracking now.
The governor's proposed regulations do not address the large increase in deadly air pollutants like particulate matter, ozone and air toxics that will accompany a fracking boom. The Central Valley and Los Angeles Basin, where industry is poised for a massive expansion of drilling, already suffer from the worst air quality in the nation.
The regulations also attempt to rubber-stamp and fast-track multiple well-stimulation projects with a single approval and without adequately studying the impact of each frack project -- and the regulations do not require disclosure of complete chemical information to the public until after fracking.
The best way to protect California's communities, wildlife and climate is to make our voices heard while the draft rules are still being reviewed.
Please take action now using the form below to urge Gov. Brown to stop fracking and other extreme fossil-fuel extraction techniques.
Petrochemicals and big agribusiness are dirty industries. The pesticides they produce and use end up in our waterways and pollute our wild places.
Pesticides cause severe reproductive and developmental harm, cancer or even death in imperiled wildlife. And the toxins can also move up the food chain -- potentially ending up on our families' dinner plates and in the water our children drink.
But instead of owning up to these dangers, the chemical industry is trying to use the farm bill to roll back the Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act -- with the end goal to make it easier to pollute our environment with pesticides.
Right now the Clean Water Act provides simple requirements to monitor where pesticides are applied and prevents pesticide pollution in waterways already impaired with pesticide pollution. The Endangered Species Act has common-sense rules protecting wildlife from dangerous pesticide poisoning, especially those animals that are extra-sensitive to pesticides.
Please take action now to tell your senators to protect our wildlife and waterways from pesticides and vote against dangerous amendments in the farm bill.
The rapidly growing human population on earth is doing some dangerous things -- crowding out other species and quickly consuming limited resources.
The best way to stem the tide of unsustainable human population growth, as well as the devastating effect it has on wildlife and wild places, is to ensure that women have the healthcare they need to make family-planning decisions.
This basic human right improves the health of women and children and reduces the number of unplanned pregnancies -- which means a healthier planet for everyone.
Because of an unprecedented wave of new restrictions passed across the country, half of the women across the country now live in states where their reproductive health and rights are under attack.
But a group of members of Congress is finally fighting back: On Nov. 13 they introduced the Women's Health Protection Act. This legislation would make it illegal for states to pass laws that chip away at women's reproductive rights and access to family planning.
Please take action using the form below to tell your representatives to support the Women's Health Protection Act -- for women, wildlife and our planet.
Nationwide, the Bureau of Land Management estimates that 90 percent of new oil and gas wells on federal land are fracked. In their never-ending quest to bypass regulatory oversight, the oil and gas industry is trying to push a bill through Congress that would gut federal government review of fracking on our treasured public lands.
House Resolution 2728 would take away authority from the federal government and turn it over to the states -- many of which don't enforce existing rules. And this bill has already passed in the House of Representatives.
Fracking poses enormous risks to our environment and public health. Today's modern fracking techniques can use many more chemicals, more water, operate at much greater pressure underground, and produce more toxic waste than the fracking techniques of even 10 years ago. The best way to protect our national treasures as well as our air, water, health and wildlife from fracking is to simply prohibit this inherently dangerous form of fossil fuel extraction.
H.R. 2728 tramples longstanding law and policy and threatens the fundamental principle that federal lands -- which are owned by all Americans -- should be carefully protected.
Please take action using the form below to tell your senator we need a ban on fracking our public lands. We must not give frackers a free pass.
Alaska's Tongass National Forest is home to unique wolves called Alexander Archipelago wolves, a subspecies of gray wolves that den in the roots of old-growth trees and dine on salmon in the summer.
These wolves are special -- so rare and threatened that the Center for Biological Diversity and an ally petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to get them protected under the Endangered Species Act in 2011. We're still waiting for a response.
The wolves that live on Prince of Wales Island are distinct even from other Tongass wolves. They're especially important to the entire Alexander Archipelago wolf subspecies, and a proposed timber sale is putting them in danger.
The Big Thorne sale is the largest timber sale proposed in the Tongass in decades -- with logging planned for more than 6,000 acres of prime old-growth habitat for wolves, as well as for Sitka black-tailed deer, black bears, Queen Charlotte goshawks, flying squirrels, marten and other imperiled species.
In September we temporarily halted the sale when the top Alexander Archipelago wolf biologist went on record to describe just how devastating it would be. These statements would never have been heard if the Center and our allies hadn't stepped in.
A Wolf Task Force was organized to analyze how logging will harm this delicate ecosystem. But thanks to continued scientific suppression from Alaska and the U.S. Forest Service's desire to placate loggers, the true dangers of logging on the Tongass National Forest may continue to be hidden. It's time to bring the logging risks to light.
Take action using the form below to urge the Forest Service to put science before politics and ensure that the proceedings of the Wolf Task Force are open and transparent.
Throughout North America bats face a wide range of threats -- from human disturbance to habitat loss and pollution. But white-nose syndrome, a fungal disease that first struck this continent in 2006, is the most devastating and dramatic danger our bats have ever known.
So far seven different species of bats have been affected by the epidemic -- which has spread across 22 states and five Canadian provinces. Some afflicted populations have lost more than 90 percent of their bats.
Northern long-eared bats have declined by 98 percent in white-nose-affected areas. Eastern small-footed bats were rare before the white-nose syndrome outbreak; now the disease has subsumed nearly their entire range, and they're even rarer. To help these two struggling bat species, the Center for Biological Diversity petitioned in 2010 to get both protected under the Endangered Species Act.
Nearly four years later, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finally issued its decision: Northern long-eared bats are being proposed for protections, but eastern small-footed bats aren't. The Service is now taking comments on the decision through Jan. 2, and already it appears that big oil and gas companies are lining up to oppose the protections.
Please take action using the form below to tell the Service not to cower away from industry pressure. It's time to finalize protections for northern long-eared bats, and reconsider helping eastern small-footed bats, before these vital animals are gone forever.
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.
One of the last remaining wild runs for central California's coho salmon are in Marin County, but a move by the county's board of supervisors could mean extinction for Marin's salmon.
The supervisors are considering changes to the 6-year-old county conservation plan -- dangerous loopholes for development that would put salmon and other wildlife at risk.
The plan was created to help guide development while protecting Marin's wildlife and natural resources, but now -- to appease a small, well-heeled group of landowners -- the board is considering weakening the plan, to allow development along the creeks and rivers salmon depend on.
The Center for Biological Diversity is joining more than 20 organizations to urge Marin County to adopt a conservation plan that puts salmon first. We ran a full-page ad in the Marin Independent Journal calling on the supervisors to adopt stronger stream protections. But now we need your help.
Please take action now to tell the Marin County Board of Supervisors to save endangered coho salmon instead of rewriting the rules midstream.
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 15.4 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.
Atlantic bluefin tuna can live about 40 years, and they mature late -- at around 9 years old. This long lifespan is impressive, but it also means that threats like overfishing, climate change and oil and gas developments take a large toll on populations.
It's obvious that these dwindling populations need help: In 2011 the feds identified bluefin tuna as a "species of concern." They fell short of protecting the giant fish under the Endangered Species Act but promised to revisit the decision in 2013 -- or as soon as information was available on the effects of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the largest oil spill in U.S. history.
Crude oils are highly toxic to developing fish embryos, and many pelagic fish were spawning in the northern Gulf in the months before oil spill's containment. We can't wait for more information.
The government has a new proposal for bluefin fishing management. And although it takes a step in the right direction, the proposal falls short on protections bluefin tuna need to make a comeback. Some very basic measures didn't make the chopping block -- including protecting all spawning grounds for the duration of the bluefin spawning season and requiring independent observers to verify reported data for all commercial fishing vessels.
Thankfully there's still a chance to put these necessary regulations into place. Please take action using the form below to urge the National Marine Fisheries Service to end overfishing of bluefin tuna through key fishery management measures.
The mountains of West Virginia are being blown up by the coal industry -- and the state has utterly failed to take action to protect human health and endangered species from mining devastation.
The federal government currently delegates oversight of mining to the state, but the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has cowered to mining industry pressure and permitted irreparable harm to the state's mountains and streams.
The Center for Biological Diversity and other groups, as a part of a new initiative called the Citizen Action for Real Enforcement Campaign, filed a formal petition asking the feds to take mining oversight away from the state. But now we need your help.
Please take action using the form below: Urge Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Director Joe Pizarchik to withdraw approval of West Virginia's mining program and protect endangered species and public health in Appalachia.
In the slew of bad news the federal government has visited on our country's gray wolves, there's finally a bit of good news: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering reforming Mexican gray wolf management. Much of the proposal is exciting, but there are some key flaws in the planned changes. We have a chance to do right by these animals -- let's not let that opportunity pass us by.
The plan would allow captive wolves to be released into New Mexico's Gila National Forest -- an area that's so far been off limits to new wolf releases but makes up 75 percent of Mexican gray wolf recovery area. The proposal would also allow wolves to roam and establish territories outside the current 6-million-acre boundaries.
Both of these changes are vital ones that have long been recommended by scientists. But the federal proposal would still restrict wolves' movements -- including keeping wolves from reaching important habitat in the Grand Canyon and southern Rocky Mountain ecosystems. The changes would not allow wolves north of Interstate 40.
The proposal also entirely fails to take steps to prevent wolves from first scavenging and then hunting cattle, while lowering the threshold for ranchers to shoot wolves.
It's clear the Service is making some important strides in Mexican gray wolf recovery, but the new plan needs to embrace scientifically supported territories and preventative measures. Please take action using the form below to help protect wolves in the Southwest.
Then, if you live near Albuquerque, N.M., please consider testifying at a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hearing being held on Friday, Oct. 4 from 6 to 9 p.m. at 1000 Woodward Place NE.
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.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has called white-nose syndrome the "worst wildlife health crisis in memory." Seven years after the fungal disease first showed up in a cave in upstate New York, the little-understood malady has exploded across North America, spreading to 22 states and five Canadian provinces so far and killing 7 million bats. Seven species have been hit by the disease, including endangered Indiana and gray bats. Biologists have detected the fungal pathogen on another three bat species, including endangered Virginia big-eared bats.
In response to this disaster, bat champions in Congress -- with pressure from the Center for Biological Diversity and thousands of bat-loving constituents like you -- have managed to eke out modest federal funding for research and management of the disease in the past several years.
However, as the federal budgetary process seems to grow more chaotic and contentious this year, it's a frighteningly real possibility that money for white-nose syndrome research will vanish. Loss of that funding would cripple vital research and conservation projects, and it would deal a devastating blow to a campaign that may finally be gaining a handle on how to stop this fatal disease.
Please join dozens of wildlife, conservation and public-health groups, as well as preeminent bat scientists from around the country, and take action using the form below. Send a letter to Congress urging it to renew federal money in 2014 for fighting white-nose syndrome and saving some of nature's best pest controls.
Because of the government shutdown, the comment period on the proposal to strip Endangered Species Act protection from America's wolves has been extended to Dec. 17. Your voice is needed now more than ever -- please take action below and share this action with your social networks.
Wolves nationwide urgently need your help. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is poised to remove protections for these important and majestic animals in most of the lower 48 states, according to a new proposal from the Obama administration.
Since 1973 wolves have been protected under the Endangered Species Act. In 1978 those protections were expanded to include wolves across most of the lower 48 states. In the past two years, protections have been removed for wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains and western Great Lakes. States in these regions have instituted aggressive hunting and trapping seasons resulting in more than 1,700 wolf deaths.
Despite the horror that state management has been, the Service has now proposed removing wolf protections in the remainder of the lower 48 states. The plan abandons wolf recovery in the Pacific Northwest, southern Rocky Mountains, Northeast, California and other areas where there is space for wolves -- keeping protections only for the very small population of Mexican gray wolves that roams Arizona and New Mexico.
Please take action now to lend your voice to the fight to protect wolves. Use the form below to ask Fish and Wildlife to reject this highly destructive, premature plan abandoning wolves across the American landscape.
In late May Jairo Mora Sandoval, a 26-year-old conservationist who worked as a beach monitor for the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network, and four volunteers working to protect leatherback sea turtles on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica were abducted. The four foreign volunteers -- one Spaniard and three Americans -- survived, but Mora was brutally beaten, bound and murdered.
The five had set out that night on sea turtle patrol, in an area where there'd been an increase in turtle poaching, when suddenly they were ambushed by at least five masked men. To date the criminals have not been apprehended.
Mora had been vocal against drug traffickers and poachers who terrorize the beach -- we can’t let his killers go unpunished.
The Center for Biological Diversity has joined other conservation groups in announcing a $56,000 reward for information on the brutal killing of Mora. Please take action now to call on the President of Costa Rica, Laura Chinchilla, and the U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica, Anne Andrew, to spare no resource in apprehending and convicting the killers and to protect sea turtle beaches from poachers and criminals.
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.
Willits Bypass -- a proposed four-lane freeway-widening project with a $210 million price tag -- will bulldoze wetlands, oak forests, streamside trees and critical habitat for salmon and other endangered species habitats in Northern California.
Caltrans claims the project will ease traffic congestion, but the agency's own data show no increase in highway traffic in two decades. Worse yet, Caltrans has refused to seriously examine other alternatives or routes -- completely ignoring community suggestions for less environmentally destructive solutions to address traffic congestion.
Despite a pending lawsuit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity and partners, Caltrans has already begun clearing old oak forests in preparation for this mega-highway. The project will destroy vegetation along life-sustaining salmon streams and fill wetlands before the case can even be heard in federal court.
Please help put the brakes on this destructive, wasteful project today. Demand that Caltrans, California state legislators and Governor Jerry Brown halt Willits Bypass before it's too late.
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.