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  • Fri, 21 Jul 2017 17:41:27 +0000: Protect Our Marine Monuments and Sanctuaries! - Actions
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  • Fri, 14 Jul 2017 16:11:33 +0000: Stop the attacks on the Arctic Refuge! - Actions
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  • Mon, 26 Jun 2017 13:20:45 +0000: We need you to Stand Up for Ocean Wildlife! - Actions
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  • Thu, 08 Jun 2017 15:22:00 +0000: Take a Stand to End Shark Finning - Actions
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  • Thu, 08 Jun 2017 15:15:39 +0000: Help Protect Red Wolves - Actions
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  • Wed, 07 Jun 2017 13:28:05 +0000: Help save our most effective wildlife law! - Actions
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  • Wed, 24 May 2017 19:57:33 +0000: Tell Your Members of Congress to Reject the President’s Budget - Actions
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  • Thu, 30 Mar 2017 16:25:46 +0000: Tell President Trump that we won’t back down! - Actions
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  • Thu, 23 Mar 2017 17:08:05 +0000: Save the Vaquita Porpoise - Actions
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  • Thu, 16 Mar 2017 14:41:52 +0000: Help Protect Jaguars - Actions
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  • Mon, 12 Jun 2017 17:20:52 +0000: Orcas Love Raingardens - Press Releases

    MEDIA ADVISORY

     

    Contact: Robb Krehbiel (Defenders of Wildlife); 206-577-2007; rkrehbiel@defenders.org

        Leigh Anne Tiffany (Defenders of Wildlife); 202-772-0259; ltiffany@defenders.org

        Nick Abraham (WEC); 206-631-2629; nick@wcvoters.org

                   

    Orcas Love Raingardens

    TACOMA, Wash. (June 12, 2017) – Orcas are among the most contaminated marine mammals in the world, carrying residues of pesticides, flame retardants, industrial coolants and solvents. People can be part of the solution, helping to prevent contaminated runoff from reaching the Puget Sound in the first place by building a raingarden with specific plants to control stormwater runoff. Defenders of Wildlife and Washington Environmental Council are hosting this event.

    What: “Orcas Love Raingardens” is a family friendly community event that will show residents how to install orca-saving raingardens at schools, libraries, community centers and their own homes. There will be a tour of the new Point Defiance Stormwater Treatment Facility and a panel discussion with representatives from the Puget Sound Partnership, City of Tacoma, Pierce Conservation District, and Tacoma Metro Parks.

    When: Tuesday, June 13, 2017 from 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. PT

    Where: Point Defiance Pagoda, 5715 Roberts Garden Road, Tacoma, Wash.

    Why: The biggest source of toxics in Puget Sound comes from stormwater runoff. We can reduce the amount of storm water entering Puget Sound, and we can clean up the storm water that does reach the Sound, through raingardens. Tacoma continues to be a leader in stormwater runoff management.

     

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  • Thu, 08 Jun 2017 21:26:56 +0000: Mexico Takes New Initiative to Protect the Vaquita, World’s Most Endangered Porpoise - Press Releases

    WASHINGTON (June 8, 2017) ­– The Mexican government has announced new efforts to save the critically endangered vaquita from extinction, following a widespread advocacy campaign by conservation groups and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.

    Mexico, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation and the Carlos Slim Foundation signed a memorandum of understanding outlining objectives to ban the gill nets that kill vaquitas, to limit night fishing and to increase prosecution of illegal fishing, among other protective measures. The memorandum also establishes an objective of providing sanctuary to the remaining vaquita, which may include the creation of a captive breeding program in sea-based pens.

    Statement from Defenders of Wildlife Senior International Counsel Alejandra Goyenechea:

    “This is great step towards recovering the vaquita, a porpoise that desperately needs our help to escape extinction. But it’s important to remember that any effort to recover vaquitas placed in a sanctuary should include the goal of returning them to their wild natural habitat in the Gulf of California.

    “Vaquitas have needed stronger conservation measures for years. We hope that this effort by the Mexican government, the Carlos Slim Foundation and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation inspires many others in Mexico, the United States and across the world to protect the world’s most endangered porpoise.”

    Background:

    • The vaquita is the world’s smallest and most endangered cetacean: it is estimated that fewer than 30 vaquitas are left in the wild.
    • The main threat to vaquitas is death by drowning in fishing gear. The Vaquita Refuge Area is supposed to be protected habitat for the species, but illegal shrimp boats are still caught fishing in the area by the Mexican government and are getting off with minimal consequences.
    • The vaquita has also suffered from the demand in China for the swim bladder of the totoaba, an endangered fish that lives in vaquita habitat. Illegal fishing for and trafficking in this fish have led to serious population losses for the vaquita and totoaba alike.
    • Drowning in fishing gear kills an estimated half of the vaquita population each year. Vaquita scientists estimate that unless all gillnets are eliminated from the Upper Gulf of California completely, these rare porpoises will be extinct in less than three years.
    • Defenders of Wildlife joined a new campaign in March 2017 to boycott Mexican shrimp until the Mexican government enforces fishing regulations to protect the vaquita.

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    Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With nearly 1.2 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit www.defenders.org and follow us on Twitter @DefendersNews.

  • Tue, 06 Jun 2017 16:30:23 +0000: Got Grizzlies? Defenders of Wildlife Helps Build Bear Barriers in Your Backyard - Press Releases

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact: Leigh Anne Tiffany; (202) 772-0259; ltiffany@defenders.org

    Got Grizzlies? Defenders of Wildlife Helps Build Bear Barriers in Your Backyard

    MISSOULA, Mont. (June 6, 2017) –  Defenders of Wildlife’s 7th annual Electric Fence Incentive Program is underway. People in specified counties in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and eastern Washington can apply for funding and technical assistance to build bear-resistant electric fencing that safely protects property from grizzly bears.

    Russell Talmo, Rockies and Plains Program Associate with Defenders of Wildlife, issued this statement:

    “Some of the most significant obstacles to grizzly bear recovery continue to be bear-human conflicts and human-caused mortality. There are a variety of simple and affordable measures that people can take to reduce these conflicts. Our Electric Fence Incentive Program is a shining example of how grizzly bears and humans can coexist.”

    Background:

    A primary factor limiting grizzly bear recovery is human-caused mortality. Bears follow their nose to find enough calories that will generate the fat reserves necessary to make it through the winter. When bears find foods like garbage, fruit trees and livestock, they are often removed by management agencies or killed by landowners. By preventing such conflicts, we are benefiting both people and bears. Properly installed bear-resistant electric fencing is a simple and effective way to do just that.

    Defenders of Wildlife reimburses 50 percent of the cost of an electric fence (up to $500) for securing grizzly bear attractants, such as chickens, garbage, bees, gardens, fruit trees and other livestock in eligible counties in Washington, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Through this program, Defenders has helped more than 260 landowners to complete electric fence projects since 2010.

    This spring, Defenders ran a print advertising campaign with placement in the following newspapers in Montana and Idaho: Daily Inter Lake, Western County News, Valley Journal, Bonners Ferry Herald, Carbon County News, Gardiner Chamber of Commerce Newsletter, Tobacco Valley News and Sanders County Ledger.

    Check out our application and website to find out more. Funding is limited, so please contact us as soon as possible if you are interested in this program.

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    Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With nearly 1.2 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit www.defenders.org and follow us on Twitter @DefendersNews.

  • Thu, 01 Jun 2017 19:42:50 +0000: U.S. ABANDONS PARIS CLIMATE AGREEMENT - Press Releases

    Media contact: Catalina Tresky, (202) 772-0253 or ctresky@defenders.org

     

    WASHINGTON (JUNE 1, 2017) – President Trump announced today his intent to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, the 2015 milestone accord under which 196 nations committed to pursue efforts to limit the increase in the global average temperature to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

    Jamie Rappaport Clark, president and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife, issued the following statement:

    “Climate change is real, and it is the greatest challenge facing our planet. Wildlife and their habitat, as well as human communities and economies worldwide, are at risk because of rising seas, severe weather and a rapidly changing environment.

    “President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement is short-sighted and narrow-minded. It will set back decades of hard-fought efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions and consign millions to a less prosperous and secure future. We owe a debt to our children and grandchildren to protect our world and secure a clean and prosperous future, and the Paris Agreement was an enormous step towards this goal.

    “How can America be great when our leaders ignore and deny the siege we are under by a rapidly changing climate? Today, President Trump has not only turned his back on wildlife, he has also abandoned any pretense of moral leadership in the world.”

    Background

    Many people know that climate change is causing Arctic sea ice to melt, which in turn threatens polar bears who need the ice to hunt for their prey. But the Arctic is hardly alone in feeling the heat. Droughts caused by changes in precipitation patterns limit the growth of desert grasses and flowering plants that animals like the critically endangered Sonoran pronghorn depend on for food. And shorter, warmer winters increase the occurrence of pests like mosquitoes and ticks that spread disease to our children when they play outdoors. Many types of habitat are expected to shift, shrink or even disappear entirely in the face of warmer temperatures, changes in the growing season, and increased drought, interrupted with intense, flood-inducing rainfall.

    And the problems aren’t just on land. Some of the carbon dioxide we emit dissolves in the ocean, where it creates an acid strong enough to dissolve the shells of some marine organisms. Ocean acidification can kill coral reefs, which provide food and shelter for countless marine species. And changes in ocean currents are shifting the location of prime feeding areas farther from islands where certain seabirds have nested for centuries.

    Given the wide variety of impacts it has on the environment, climate change is now one of the leading threats to wildlife and habitats. In 2015, Defenders wrote a blog series on the importance of the Paris Climate Agreement for the world, and for wildlife in particular, that can be found here.

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    Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With nearly 1.2 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit www.defenders.org and follow us on Twitter @DefendersNews.

  • Thu, 01 Jun 2017 16:27:40 +0000: Secretarial Order Threatens the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge - Press Releases
     
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    Contact: Haley McKey, 202-772-0247, hmckey@defenders.org
     
    WASHINGTON (May 31, 2017) –Secretary Ryan Zinke has signed a signed a secretarial order pushing for further energy development in the National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska (NPR-A) and updating resource assessments for the Coastal Plain or "1002 area" of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
    Statement from Defenders of Wildlife Vice President of Government Relations Robert Dewey
    “Is there nothing sacred to this administration? Secretary Zinke’s order is further evidence of the administration’s push to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the crown jewel of the Refuge System. It contradicts his role as steward of our natural heritage and conflicts with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s recent scientific assessment which recommended that the Coastal Plain be forever protected as wilderness.  
    “The Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is one of America’s last great wild places, among the most ecologically vital ecosystems in the world. It is home for hundreds of iconic, sensitive and unique species, a place where the next generation of wildlife is born and raised. All of that will be lost the second the stampede for oil is unleashed on this pristine sanctuary.”
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    Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With more than 1.2 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit www.defenders.org and follow us on Twitter @DefendersNews.
  • Tue, 23 May 2017 19:38:38 +0000: El Financiamiento del Muro Fronterizo Amenaza la Vida Silvestre y las Comunidades - Press Releases

    Contacto: Catalina Tresky: (202) 772-0253 o ctresky@defenders.org

     

    SANTA FE (23 de mayo de 2017) - El gobierno de Trump publicó el día hoy su presupuesto para el año fiscal del 2018 que incluye financiamiento para la extensión del muro en la frontera entre Estados Unidos y México.

    Bryan Bird, director del programa suroeste para Defenders of Wildlife, respondió con la siguiente declaración:

    "El financiamiento de la expansión del muro fronterizo no es un buen uso de fondos. Estos fondos deben ser utilizados para los programas que mantienen nuestro aire y agua limpios y que protegen nuestra vida silvestre y áreas salvajes. El presupuesto presentado del presidente Trump es una venta de nuestro patrimonio natural.

    "Un muro impenetrable dividirá a familias y comunidades a lo largo de la frontera y dividiría y aislará importantes paisajes del suroeste, empujando animales al borde de la extinción como jaguares, lobos grises y ocelotes. La extinción es para siempre, y si se va la naturaleza, nosotros también.

    "El Congreso debe oponerse a cualquier presupuesto que trate de construir este muro fronterizo que destruirá el tejido de nuestros valores fundamentales: la igualdad, la justicia y la preservación de nuestro patrimonio natural.”

    Más información

    La Vida Silvestre en la Frontera

    Se han construido más de 600 millas del muro en los cuatro estados fronterizos del sur: California, Arizona, Nuevo México y Texas.

    En California, las barreras fronterizas afectan a más de una docena de especies amenazadas, incluyendo el sapo Arroyo que se encuentra en peligro de extinción y la mariposa Quino. Cualquier extensión del muro fronterizo dividirá por ejemplo el río Tijuana que corre a través del Valle de “Marron” en el condado de San Diego y el área protegida de Jacumba. También cortará rutas migratorias importantes para las ovejas de carnero de Península, devastando los esfuerzos de recuperación.

    En Arizona, el muro de la frontera afecta significantemente al desierto de Sonora -- donde viven los antílopes que se encuentran en peligro de extinción, los búhos pigmeos y las tortugas -- y las Islas del Cielo, así nombradas por las "islas" de hábitats boscosos.

    En Nuevo México, los hábitats importantes se encuentran en “el talón” del estado, un mosaico de tierras públicas y privadas manejadas en gran parte para la conservación. También hay tierras extensas manejadas por el Servicio Forestal que son vitales para la migración de los jaguares entre los E.E.U.U. y México.

    En Texas, estas barreras impiden que las personas y los animales accedan al Rio Grande, una fuente de agua vital para las comunidades y la vida silvestre.

    Política del Muro Fronterizo

    La Sección 102 de la ley “REAL ID” del 2005 otorgó al Secretario del Departamento de Seguridad Nacional un poder sin precedente para renunciar a cualquier ley federal, estatal o local para construir carreteras y barreras a lo largo de la frontera. Esta excepción ha sido invocada cinco veces para eximir al departamento de más de 35 leyes ambientales para construir caminos y barreras en la frontera, incluyendo la Ley de la Política Ambiental Nacional (NEPA), la Ley de Especies en Peligro (ESA), la Ley de Antigüedades y la Ley para la Mejora del Sistema de Refugios Nacional para La Vida Silvestre.

    En el 2006 el Departamento de Seguridad Nacional, el Departamento del Interior y el Departamento de Agricultura emitieron un Memorando de Entendimiento que estableció metas, principios y guías sobre la seguridad fronteriza, incluyendo formas de minimizar y prevenir un impacto significativo en los recursos naturales y culturales y como aplicar la Ley de Especies en Peligro y otras leyes, reglamentos y políticas ambientales.

    El día 25 de enero de 2017, Presidente Trump firmó una orden ejecutiva que autoriza la extensión del muro fronterizo.

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    Defenders of Wildlife está dedicado a la protección de todos los animales y plantas nativas en sus comunidades naturales. Con más de 1,2 millones de miembros y activistas, Defensores de la Vida Silvestre es un destacado defensor de soluciones innovadoras para salvaguardar nuestra herencia de vida silvestre para las generaciones venideras. Para más información, visite www.defenders.org y síganos en Twitter @DefendersNews.

  • Tue, 23 May 2017 19:36:38 +0000: Proposed Border Wall Funding Threatens Wildlife, Communities - Press Releases

    Media contact: Catalina Tresky, (202) 772-0253 or ctresky@defenders.org

     

    SANTA FE (May 23, 2017) – The Trump administration released its FY 2018 budget proposal today, which includes funding for an expansion of the U.S.-Mexico border wall.

    Bryan Bird, Southwest program director for Defenders of Wildlife, issued the following statement:

    “Funding the expansion of the southern border wall is a non-starter. It’s a misuse of funding that should instead be used for programs that keep our air and water clean and protect our wildlife and wild places. President Trump’s dirty budget is a sellout of our nation’s natural heritage.

    “An impenetrable wall would divide families and communities along the border and bisect and isolate important Southwestern landscapes, pushing borderland wildlife like jaguars, Mexican gray wolves and ocelots to the brink of extinction. Extinction is forever, and as nature goes, so will we.

    “Congress should oppose any budget proposals that aim to construct this border wall, which would ultimately shred the fabric of our core American values – equality, justice and the preservation of our natural heritage.”

    Background

    Wildlife along the Border 

    More than 600 miles of border walls and barriers have been constructed in all four southern border states – California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

    In California, border barriers affect more than a dozen endangered and rare species, including the endangered Arroyo toad and Quino checkerspot butterfly. Any extension of the border wall would bisect the Tijuana River that meanders through the locally protected Marron Valley in San Diego County and the federally protected Jacumba Wilderness Area, cutting off important migration routes for the highly endangered Peninsular bighorn sheep, devastating recovery efforts.

    In Arizona, the border wall significantly affects the Sonoran Desert, home to endangered Sonoran pronghorn, cactus ferruginous pygmy owls and desert tortoises, and the world-renowned Sky Islands, so named for the “islands” of forested habitat rising out of a “sea” of surrounding desert and grasslands.

    In New Mexico, important wildlife habitats are found in the state’s ‘boot heel,’ a mosaic of public and private lands largely managed for conservation. There are also expansive U.S. Forest Service lands in the state that are critical for jaguar movement between the U.S. and Mexico.

    In Texas, walls and barriers block people and animals from access to the Rio Grande River, an iconic and vital water source for communities and wildlife alike.

    Border Wall Policy

    Section 102 of the 2005 REAL ID Act gave the Secretary of Homeland Security unprecedented power to waive any federal, state, or local law to construct roads and barriers along the border. This waiver has already been invoked five times to exempt the department from more than 35 environmental laws to construct roads and barriers along the Southwest border, including the National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, Antiquities Act and National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act.

    In 2006, the Department of Homeland Security, Department of the Interior and Department of Agriculture issued a Memorandum of Understanding that set forth goals, principles and guidance on border security implementation, minimizing and preventing significant impact on natural and cultural resources while efficiently and effectively implementing the Endangered Species Act and other environmental laws, regulations and policies.

    On Jan. 25, 2017, President Trump issued an executive order, “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements,” which called for the expansion of the border wall.

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    Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With more than 1.2 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit www.defenders.org and follow us on Twitter @DefendersNews.

  • Tue, 23 May 2017 18:59:23 +0000: President’s Budget Sells Out America’s Wildlife and Wild Places - Press Releases

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    CONTACT: Haley McKey, 202-772-0247, hmckey@defenders.org

    WASHINGTON (May 23, 2017) – President Trump has released the administration’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2018. Contrary to its title, “A New Foundation for American Greatness,” it sells out one of our nation’s greatest legacies, our wildlife and natural heritage. The budget slashes the non-defense discretionary budget, which is the main source of funding for agencies that conserve and protect our environment and natural resources including the Department of the Interior and the U.S. Forest Service. The budget also proposes to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling. Finally, the budget includes funding for President Trump’s proposed border wall, which would have major consequences for native species like jaguars that need to move across the U.S.-Mexico border.

    Statement from Defenders of Wildlife President and CEO Jamie Rappaport Clark:

    “This budget is death by a billion cuts. It would gut the federal government’s ability to protect the health, safety and prosperity of all Americans. We’re particularly stunned by the devastating cuts to programs that conserve our natural resources and our lands, water and wildlife.

    “You cannot make America great by destroying our natural heritage. President Trump’s proposal threatens the destruction of one of America’s last great wild places. As the crown jewel of America's public lands system, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge contains vital habitat for iconic species like polar bears, caribou, muskoxen and 200 species of migratory birds from all 50 states, and the native Gwich’in people depend on the land for their subsistence economy and cultural identity.

    “This budget proposes drilling in one iconic area, the Arctic refuge, to help fund a damaging and useless border wall in another fragile landscape. It’s a bad deal to sell-off and sell-out vital wildlife habitat on public lands. Once these wild places are gone, they are gone for good. Furthermore, the Trump budget includes devastating and unacceptable cuts to vital conservation programs that are essential to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s mission of protecting, recovering and managing our nation’s native wildlife and helping to conserve wildlife globally.

    “We owe it to our children and grandchildren to be good stewards of our environment and leave behind a legacy of protecting our air, land, water and wildlife. But this budget is a disaster that flies in the face of those values. We urge Congress to reject the President’s budget, block the border wall and stand up for the Arctic refuge.”

    Background:

    The president’s budget proposal calls for slashing $216 million from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) FY 2017 enacted discretionary budget, a 14.2 percent cut:

    • Funding for the National Wildlife Refuge System, the largest land and water system in the world dedicated to wildlife conservation, would be more than $90 million below the level needed just to keep up with the FY 2010 level adjusted for inflation. 
    • Funding to recover threatened and endangered species would be reduced by more than 5 percent even though more than 400 listed U.S. species do not have recovery plans and FWS receives less than 25 percent of the funding needed each year to implement all recovery actions identified in recovery plans.  
    • Funding to protect new species under the Endangered Species Act would be cut by nearly 17 percent, possibly leading to more species extinctions.  This reduction would severely hinder FWS from making progress with its seven-year listing workplan that allows the agency to prioritize over 350 species for listing decisions. 
    • Funding for cooperative recovery, a program that supports more efficient and strategic efforts across landscapes to recover threatened and endangered species on National Wildlife Refuges and surrounding lands, appears to be eliminated.
    • Funding for key FWS science programs would be eliminated.
    • Funding for Landscape Conservation Cooperatives, which have been working to address complex challenges across large landscapes such as climate change, would be eliminated.
    • Funding for the Wolf Livestock Loss Demonstration Program that assists livestock owners co-existing with wolves would be eliminated.
    • Funding for key grant programs that conserve wildlife both here in the U.S and internationally are severely cut. The Cooperative Endangered Species Fund, which provides grants to state to conserve threatened and endangered species, would be cut by nearly 64 percent.

    Funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which supports land acquisition in our national wildlife refuges, parks, forests and other public lands, is slashed by a devastating 84 percent below the enacted level.

    President Trump’s budget also calls for authorization of four lease sales in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, generating $1.8 billion over 10 years, and $1.6 billion in funding for the proposed Southwest border wall for FY 2018.

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     Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With nearly 1.2 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit www.defenders.org and follow us on Twitter @DefendersNews.

     

  • Thu, 18 May 2017 15:42:21 +0000: Deputy Secretary Nominee No Friend to Wildlife - Press Releases

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    CONTACT: Haley McKey, 202-772-0247, hmckey@defenders.org

    WASHINGTON (May 18, 2017) – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is holding a hearing to consider the nomination of David Bernhardt for Deputy Secretary of the Interior. Bernhardt raises serious concerns for the future of wildlife conservation, habitat protections and protecting our natural heritage from harmful industrial uses.

    Statement from Defenders of Wildlife President and CEO Jamie Rappaport Clark:

    “David Bernhardt’s history, both in the private sector and at the Department of the Interior, disqualifies him for Deputy Secretary of the Interior, a role that must prioritize managing and preserving a healthy natural heritage for future generations. His work as a lobbyist for the oil and gas industry, agribusiness, and other corporate interests represents a serious conflict of interest. It calls into question his ability to balance the needs of our wildlife, public lands and scarce water resources with pressure from big polluters for more access and less regulation.

    “During his long tenure at the Department of the Interior he repeatedly sacrificed the trust placed in him by the American public to conserve our wildlife, public lands and other natural resources to help line the pockets of big industry. We urge the Senate to reject this nomination and demand a deputy secretary who can truly be a trustworthy steward of our nation’s most sensitive and imperiled natural resources.”

    Background:

    • Mr. Bernhardt has represented mining and extraction companies, developers, and oil and gas interests, including EP Energy, the National Ocean Industries Association, Cobalt International Energy and Rosemont Copper (now Hudbay Minerals).

    Conflict of Interest: Cadiz Water Project

    • David Bernhardt’s lobbying firm, Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber, and Schreck, has a significant financial stake in the Cadiz water project, which seeks to pump water from an aquifer beneath California’s fragile desert and sell it to urban water agencies in southern California.
    • Scientists fear that the project would significantly damage Mojave National Preserve and Mojave Trails National Monument by drying up springs and other waters that are critical for bighorn sheep, bobcats, and other wildlife. 
    • The Cadiz project will require permits from the Department of the Interior. If confirmed as Deputy Secretary, Mr. Bernhardt would be in a position to approve this ill-advised project.

    Conflict of Interest: Westlands Water District

    • Bernhardt and his firm have represented Westlands Water District in California — the largest water district in the United States and a key player in big agribusiness. In his work for Westlands, Mr. Bernhardt lobbied Congress to undermine Endangered Species Act protections that are critical for protecting salmon and other native fish in the San Francisco Bay-Delta. 
    • Mr. Bernhardt also helped Westlands negotiate a settlement with the Department of the Interior regarding toxic agricultural drainage that is currently stalled pending action by Congress. Mr. Bernhardt’s confirmation would allow him to help push the deal across the finish line, to the benefit his former client – and the detriment of California’s waters and wildlife.

    Endangered Species

    • As former Solicitor of the Department of the Interior, David Bernhardt authored an opinion that stated that the Department could not use the Endangered Species Act to address the threats of climate change to polar bears, even if the species was protected under the Act.
    • Another opinion, which was subsequently thrown out in court, interpreted the definition of “endangered species” in a manner that made listing more difficult, but made it easier to remove protections for endangered species.
    • Mr. Bernhardt’s time at Interior was also associated with a series of investigations conducted by DOI’s Inspector General, including one report that concluded that staff within the department were interfering with the scientific integrity of the Endangered Species Act.

     

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     Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With nearly 1.2 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit www.defenders.org and follow us on Twitter @DefendersNews.

  • Wed, 17 May 2017 17:18:10 +0000: Troubled Waters: Orca Month Celebrates Whales Past and Future - Press Releases

    MEDIA ADVISORY

    Contact: Cindy Hansen (Orca Network); 360-223-5666; cindy@orcanetwork.org

                      D.A. Giles (Center for Whale Research); 360-378-5835; giles@whaleresearch.com

                      Robb Krehbiel (Defenders of Wildlife); 206-577-2007; rkrehbiel@defenders.org

         Leigh Anne Tiffany (Defenders of Wildlife); 202-772-0259; ltiffany@defenders.org

         Nick Abraham (WEC); 206-631-2629; nick@wcvoters.org

                   

    Troubled Waters: Orca Month Celebrates Whales Past and Future

    SEATTLE (May 17, 2017) – June marks the 11th annual Orca Awareness Month in Washington state and second annual in Oregon and British Columbia. Members of the Orca Salmon Alliance (OSA) are hosting events throughout the month to educate the public about the Southern Resident Killer Whale (SRKW) population and the challenges they face, including reduced Chinook salmon numbers, pollutants in the water, higher risk for oil spills, and increased boat noise from shipping traffic.

    A kick-off celebration for Orca Month will be held on June 4, 2017.

    Event: 2017 Orca Month Kick-Off Celebration

    When: Sunday, June 4, 2017 from 2:00-5:00 pm PT

    Where: Golden Gardens Bathhouse, 8498 Seaview Pl, Seattle, Wash.

    What: A family-friendly event with arts-and-crafts (bring an old t-shirt and repurpose it into an Orca Month 2017 tote bag), face painting, storytelling and orca-themed activities. There will also be a memorial for the leader of the SRKWs, Granny J2, and six other members of the orca community who passed away in 2016, leaving the highly endangered Southern Resident orca population teetering on the brink of extinction at just 78 individuals.

    Who: Speakers will include: Ralph Munro, former WA Secretary of State (invited); Brenda Peterson, teacher and author of the upcoming "Wild Orca: The Oldest, Wisest Whale In The World"; Dave Neiwert, author of "Of Orcas And Men"; Dr. Deborah Giles, Research Director/Project Manager at the Center for Whale Research; Paul Cheoketen Wagner, Native American storyteller and award winning flute player; Sondra Simone Segundo, singer and author of "Killer Whale Eyes". Event emcee will be author and former KING 5 meteorologist, Jeff Renner. There will be a special welcome to the Duwamish homeland by Ken Workman, the great, great, great, great grandson of Chief Seattle. Music will be provided by tribal musicians.

    Why: Orca Network – an orca conservation organization – started Orca Month in 2007 to bring together researchers, advocates, and orca lovers everywhere to raise awareness of the threats facing these magnificent animals and provide a community to celebrate the orcas of the Salish Sea.

    Visit our website at orcamonth.com to find out more about this and future Orca Month events.

     

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    Orca Salmon Alliance works to highlight the connection between two endangered species that need help: Southern Resident Killer Whales and Chinook Salmon. OSA works together to support member organization collaboration and to develop OSA-wide initiatives. Our primary objective is to prevent the extinction of the SRKWs by recovering the wild Chinook populations upon which the whales depend for survival. Member organizations of OSA include: The Center for Whale Research, Defenders of Wildlife, Earthjustice, Endangered Species Coalition, Natural Resources Defense Council, Oceana, Orca Network, Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, Save our Wild Salmon, Seattle Aquarium, Sierra Club, Washington Environmental Council, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, and Whale Scout. Partners for Orca Month 2017 include: Puget Sound Partnership and Washington State Ferries.

Defenders of Wildlife leads the pack when it comes to protecting wild animals and plants in their natural communities »

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