Nation's Largest Wildlife Killer Exposed
This month WildEarth Guardians filed a nationwide,
programmatic lawsuit against the federal agency responsible for killing
millions of animals annually, purportedly to benefit agricultural and other
private interests. The lawsuit alleges the U.S. Department of Agriculture has
relied upon flawed environmental analysis devoid of modern scientific and
economic principles to guide its wildlife killing programs for nearly 20 years.
Since 2004, the USDA’s Wildlife Services agency has spent $1 billion to kill
nearly 26 million animals using poisons, traps, snares, hounds and aircraft (to
shoot animals from the sky). The Sacramento Bee published a landmark exposé this
month exposing Wildlife Services’ atrocities and wastefulness. Thousands of WildEarth
Guardians’ members and supporters have called on their Congresspersons to
investigate and to defund this rogue agency.
Protecting People From Fracking
Clean air got a big boost last month as new
safeguards to protect people from fracking were finally adopted by the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency. The new rules are the direct result of our successful legal
efforts. Back in 2009, we joined
forces with the San Juan Citizens Alliance and Earthjustice and filed suit
against the EPA over their failure to update air quality regulations for the
oil and gas industry. The new
rules provide a critical safety net for our public health. To boot, they stand to eliminate more
than 1.7 million tons of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. That’s like eliminating 38 coal-fired
power plants. Although we must
continue to push to ensure people are fully protected from fracking poisons,
this is a big step forward. Read more on our victory.
Fighting Coal Where it Counts
Coal is dying in the United States, but that hasn’t
stopped big coal companies from pushing their dirty energy agenda overseas.
Plans to export coal from the U.S. to Asia are now taking hold in the
northwest, the Gulf of Mexico, and other ports of our nation. And while groups are rising up to stop
these terrible export plans, WildEarth Guardians is taking the fight to the
root of the problem: the Powder River Basin of Wyoming. Last week, we filed
suit to stop more than 2 billion tons of new coal mining approved by the U.S.
Interior Department in the Powder River Basin. This coal would be mined,
shipped, likely overseas, and burned, releasing more than 3.5 billion metric
tons of carbon pollution. Whether burned here or abroad, our suit hits coal
where it counts. Sign our petition today to help slow and stop the flow of coal
from the Powder River Basin.
Guardians and Ute Indian Tribe Team Up for Clean Air in Utah
It’s an honor
for WildEarth Guardians to report that on April 25, 2012, we joined forces with
the Ute Indian Tribe of Utah to tackle illegal air pollution at one of the
region’s dirtiest coal-fired power plants. The Bonanza Power Plant in northeastern Utah lacks updated pollution
controls and is fueling an out of control smog problem in the region. To boot, even though the plant is
located on the Uintah-Ouray Indian Reservation, it employs no tribal members
and provides no money to the Ute Tribe. After uncovering more than 35,000 violations of the Clean Air Act at the
power plant we decided enough was enough and joined forces with our tribal ally
to put the plant’s owner, Deseret Power, on notice that if they didn’t clean up
their act, we would go to federal court to force them to clean up.
Wolf Rally Draws Mexican Wolf Supporters in New Mexico
Supporters of the world’s most endangered wolf gathered
Friday, April 13 at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s regional office in
Albuquerque to press the agency to release more Mexican gray wolves into the
wild in New Mexico and Arizona. The rally was organized by a coalition of wolf
enthusiasts and organizations, including WildEarth Guardians. With a wild
population numbering fewer than 60 individuals, wolves are at risk of a second
extinction from inbreeding, disease, and catastrophic events. The Fish and
Wildlife Service acknowledges the need for additional releases—and has 300
Mexican wolves in captivity—but has inexplicably frozen releases for over three
years. WildEarth Guardians and the coalition are urging the agency to yield to
the urgent recommendations from scientists and put more wolves into the wild
Troubles with Trapping Roadshow
TrapFreeNM.org, comprised of WildEarth
Guardians, Animal Protection New Mexico, Born Free USA, and the Rio Grande
Chapter of the Sierra Club, last month wrapped up our eight-day, eight-town
tour in New Mexico to educate people about the dangers of trapping on public
lands. From Roswell to Española and everywhere in between, the group met with
citizens, legislators, and voters to elevate the issue of trapping and capture
the attention of decision makers. Traps have devastating effects on wildlife, and
also on people and their pets. The coalition’s next step is to work with state legislators
to build momentum to legislatively ban trapping on all New Mexico public lands
photo credits: Wildlife Services Kill Bee Plane: USDA. Fracking: EcoFlight. Strip Mine, Powder River Basin: EcoFlight. Bonanza Power Plant: WildEarth Guardians. Mexican Wolf: Ray Rafiti. Coyote: Ray Rafiti.
"We support WildEarth Guardians and
their Stream Team campaign to protect and restore our rivers in the American
West, like the Santa Fe River. We are thankful for their work."
~ Karen Powelson & Jean-Francois Chabaud, WildEarth Guardians Supporters and Owners of Potomac Garage
Solutions, Santa Fe, NM
Read our current issue of Wild at Heart (Spring 2012)
Get on the bus for an endangered species and take our pledge
to not consume any products made from the imperiled Sturgeon.
Join us May 19 or June 9 to remove old livestock fencing
in the Valles Caldera National Preserve in Northern New Mexico. Read more
prairie dog puppets and presentations in Telluride, May 19 and 20. We’ll show a
film and interactive games for the kids, as well as engaging and informative
presentations. Find more details here.
Guardians will host Cougars of Colorado
in Montrose and Telluride on May 21
and 22. Presenters will discuss
cougar natural history, ecology, ongoing research, and tips for living
and recreating in cougar country. See further details here.
See the Reel
Paddling Film Festival in Albuquerque June 2 at the Guild Theater.
Viewers will see just how much fun a day of paddling a kayak can be and the films will also tackle some important
water-related issues. A portion of the proceeds raised will benefit American Rivers, WildEarth
Guardians and New Mexico Xtreme Sports water programs. Visit our June event’s
page for more information.
calendar for June 7, WildEarth Guardians’ annual vegan BBQ at our
Santa Fe headquarters. If you live in Santa Fe and don’t already receive our
email invitations, sign up here to make sure you receive our invitation and are
included in the fun. This event is free and open to the public.
Sooo, how did it turn out?
Last month we
sent you an email entitled Connection and
Connectivity: Key to a Living Rio Grande asking you to send an email to
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s Middle Rio Grande Conservation Committee
advocating for the Rio to have rights to its own water. More than 1,600
activists like yourself took action and sent your opinions and concerns to the
Secretary, advocating on behalf of this iconic thirsty river.
More than 2,000
of you sent an e-mail to Congress last month in response to our alert Your Tax
Dollars: Killing Native Wildlife, which asked you to support defunding
Wildlife Services, an agency that killed 3.8 million animals in 2011. Nearly
one-fifth of you took action and many of you shared the alert using our social
media tools or by simply emailing your friends. Thank you for your activism,
and for sharing your passion with others.