Northern Rockies Wolves Update
Northern Rockies wolves suffered another setback in
their recovery last month when the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a
legislative rider that eliminated federal protection for the population last
year. WildEarth Guardians and partners had challenged the rider as
unconstitutional. It was a strong case, but also a long shot. For now, Northern
Rockies wolves will go unprotected under the ESA, and the tremendous increase
in mortality we’ve witnessed from hunting and trapping in Idaho and Montana
will continue. We will not abandon these wolves. With your help, Guardians will continue to
fight for protection wherever we can, including in Wyoming where we will
challenge a new wolf management plan that would permit wolves to be shot on
sight throughout most of the state.
Citizen's Rights: 1, U.S. Forest Service: 0
WildEarth Guardians’ legal
victory in March restored every citizen’s right to challenge U.S. Forest
Service’s decisions that affect the use of our national forest system. The
lawsuit arose, in part, from a permit for uranium exploration on the Cibola
National Forest in New Mexico that was exempted from public challenges under a
Bush-era rule. Represented by the Western Environmental Law Center, we
challenged the exemption in federal court and won. We’re pleased to see the court come down decisively on the
side of check and balances, and we’ll continue to utilize legal strategies to
ensure that the public’s democratic rights to influence public lands management
Leopard Frog Gains Critical Habitat
WildEarth Guardians’ legal settlement
with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) in 2009 finally paid off last
month when the agency designated more than 10,000 acres of critical habitat for
the Chiricahua leopard frog in Arizona and New Mexico. This large frog has
disappeared from over 80 percent of its former range in streams, wetlands and
cienegas in the Southwest. Myriad land uses and related effects, including
mining, non-native aquatic species, water depletions, livestock grazing, and
chytrid fungus threaten the species. Critical habitat is key to species
recovery and we’re hopeful that more Chiricahua leopard frogs will be hopping
about southwestern streams soon.
Dirty Energy Denied in Colorado
Slowly, but surely, we’re safeguarding
Colorado from coal. At the end of March, WildEarth Guardians scored a key court
order clearing the way for us to hold a rogue coal-fired power plant
accountable, and ensuring that it cannot sully the air. The power plant,
located in Lamar, Colorado, has tallied up thousands of air pollution
violations since it began operation in 2009. On behalf of our members in Lamar,
we filed suit in federal court to put an end to this out-of-control pollution. Despite
a challenge from the utility, the judge upheld our lawsuit, noting that the
violations at the plant have continued even after out-of-court settlements with
the State of Colorado. We haven’t won yet, but we’re halfway there. With this
ruling, we can now focus on ensuring that the Lamar coal-fired power plant
cleans up or clears out.
Montana Forecast: More Hazy Skies
Air pollution from coal-fired
power plants will continue to put the Big Sky State of Montana at risk under a
proposal by Environmental Protection Agency. Spurred by a lawsuit filed by WildEarth Guardians in 2011,
the Agency drafted a plan to clean up the state’s oldest and dirtiest
coal-fired power plants, as well as other large sources of air pollution. The
aim: to reduce haze pollution in order to protect people and parks. Unfortunately, the EPA rejected
cost-effective opportunities to reduce haze pollution from coal-fired power
plants, even though the Agency admits the plan falls short of safeguarding
iconic landscapes, like Glacier National Park. Talk about giving dirty energy a
break. The proposal kicks off a public comment period and hearings on May 1 in Helena and May 2 in Billings. WildEarth Guardians intends to
call on the EPA to strengthen its proposal and fully protect Montana from dirty
BLM Study: Sage Grouse at Risk from Energy Extraction
A recent Bureau of Land
Management study indicates that increasingly dense oil and gas development
coupled with an outbreak of West Nile virus could cause "functional extinction"
of the greater sage-grouse population in the Powder River Basin, exposing major
flaws with the agency's current approach to sage-grouse conservation in this
biologically critical area. The study predicts that only 6 active sage-grouse
breeding areas—out of 370 known today—would remain under this study’s scenario.
WildEarth Guardians’ historic endangered species settlement agreement with the FWS
has put the sage-grouse on a path to protection. This study is just the latest
indicating that we must protect larger areas of sagebrush steppe for
sage-grouse to survive and protect the species under the Endangered Species
photo credits: Yellowstone wolf: National Park Service. Forest: Public Domain. Chiricahua leopard frog: Jim Rorabaugh. Lamar Power Plant: Shirley Warren. Move Beyond Fossil Fuels rally: WildEarth Guardians. Greater sage-grouse: Robert Lewis.
Hamso recently spent 5 months interning for WildEarth Guardians in Santa Fe. A native of Norway,
Borge has had the opportunity to travel, experiencing many of the world’s most beautiful and imperiled environments.
By interning with WildEarth Guardians he has made his mark by helping to protect the Rocky
Rally for the Mexican Lobo
Less than 60 endangered
Mexican wolves exist in the wilds of New Mexico and Arizona—not nearly enough
to ensure their survival. At the same time more than 300 lobos languish in
captivity, awaiting release into their homeland as part of a reintroduction
program. Please join our rally on Friday, April 13 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. to tell the FWS to release
more wolves into the wild. The rally will be held at United States Fish and
Wildlife Service Regional Office, 500 Gold Avenue SW, Albuquerque, New Mexico
87102. More details and information here.
our “Troubles with Trapping” road show in towns throughout New Mexico in April.
We’ll be highlighting the problems traps cause for wildlife, pets and people on
public lands and what you can do to help put an end to trapping in New Mexico.
From Grants to Roswell, Los Lunas to Silver City and beyond, visit our link to
find dates, times and locations of presentations near you.
Dine Italian Style in Denver
WildEarth Guardians invites
you to join us for a very special dining opportunity. On April 15, Trattoria
Stella will be hosting us at their "Sunday Service," something this
house-made Italian inspired restaurant does each month to give back to the
community. Dine from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and 10% of your bill will go towards
WildEarth Guardians' work to protect the Rocky Mountain West. Trattoria Stella
is located at 3201 East Colfax Avenue, Denver, CO
80206. Reservations are accepted at (303) 320-8635.
Join us for our
Annual Howling Affair in Denver. On May 10 we’ll host our Colorado
fundraiser at the Oxford Hotel featuring guest speaker Paul Watson, long-time
activist and president of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Tickets are on sale now for this fabulous
Sooo, how did it turn out?
want to express our deep gratitude to the 50 hearty souls who came out on March
31 to help us restore the river in Santa Fe; they worked 250+ hours, raised
$500, and helped us plant over 2,000 trees. Thank you also to REI for their
generous grant, and for showing up with a strong team. Santa Fe Waldorf School,
University of Phoenix, Dragonfly, Fayette School also all planted hundreds of
trees. We are also grateful to the hundreds of others who helped fund this
important work through the purchase of trees. Guardians’ Stream Team trees are
available year-round for purchase and make great gifts. Our restoration team is
happy to plant these in honor or memorial of your loved ones.
Take action on our current