Conservation, wildlife and refuge news and legislative issues of concern

Trump Slashes Funds for Endangered Species & Environmental Protection

Budget Proposes $1.6 Billion for Construction of Ecologically Devastating Border Wall WASHINGTON — May 23, 2017 - The Trump administration’s detailed 2018 budget proposal, released today, contains unprecedented funding cuts for the Department of the Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency and increased spending for a border wall. Trump wants to slash the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service budget by 8.6 percent and the EPA’s budget by 30 percent. Meanwhile the budget proposes an additional $1.6 billion to build 80 new miles of a wall along the southern border. “Trump’s budget guts safeguards for our air, water and wildlife just [...]

Trump Signs Legislation to Kill Wolves and Bears in Alaska

Republicans Repeal Rules Against Cruel, Unsportsmanlike Killings of Predators in National Wildlife Refuges WASHINGTON— President Trump late Monday signed legislation to strip away protections implemented by the Obama administration for wolves, bears and other predators on national wildlife refuges in Alaska. The bill, approved by Congress and signed by Trump, allows wolves and their pups to be killed in their dens and bears to be gunned down at bait stations. “Because of Trump and Republicans in Congress, wolves and bears in Alaska will now be subject to cruel, unsportsmanlike killings, in violation of the very purpose of the wildlife refuge [...]

By | April 6th, 2017|Conservation News, Press Releases|0 Comments

2.7 Million Animals Killed by Federal Wildlife-destruction Program in 2016

Ignoring Calls for Reform, Wildlife Services Continues Killing Coyotes, Bears, Wolves, Other Animals WASHINGTON — The highly secretive arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture known as Wildlife Services killed more than 2.7 million animals during 2016, according to new data from the agency. The multimillion-dollar federal program targets wolves, cougars, birds and other wild animals for destruction — primarily to benefit the agriculture industry. Of the 2.7 million animals killed last year, nearly 1.6 million were native wildlife species. According to the latest kill report, the program last year destroyed 415 gray wolves; 76,963 adult coyotes, plus an unknown [...]

By | March 19th, 2017|Conservation, Conservation News, Press Releases, Wildlife|0 Comments

On First Day Trump Appointee Rolls Back Protections for Wildlife, Hunters From Toxic Lead

Secretary Zinke Revokes Obama Phaseout of Lead Ammo, Sinkers on National Wildlife Refuges WASHINGTON — On his first full day in office, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke issued an order revoking the phaseout of lead ammunition and fishing tackle on national wildlife refuges. The order reverses the position of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under President Obama that called for a phaseout of the use of toxic lead on refuges by 2022. Spent lead ammunition causes lead poisoning in 130 species of birds and animals. Nearly 500 scientific papers document the dangers to wildlife from this lead exposure. “Switching to [...]

By | March 3rd, 2017|Conservation, Conservation News, Press Releases|0 Comments

Texas Senator John Cornyn Introduces Bills to Gut Endangered Species Act

Legislation Would Delay Species Protection, Burden Federal Wildlife Agencies, Increase Extinction Risk for America's Wildlife WASHINGTON - February 16, 2017 - Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) introduced two bills today to substantially weaken protections for endangered species. The “Endangered Species Act Settlement Reform Act” (S. 375) would make it harder for citizens to ensure species are considered for protection in a timely fashion. The bill would give local governments, Big Oil, Big Agriculture and other industries the right to veto settlement agreements requiring the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to make decisions about the protection of endangered species. “Senator Cornyn’s bill [...]

By | February 25th, 2017|Conservation, Conservation News, Press Releases|0 Comments

Congress Advances Legislation to Kill Wolves, Bears, and other Predators in Alaska

Bill Would Repeal Protections on National Wildlife Refuges WASHINGTON - February 16, 2017 - The House of Representatives today used the Congressional Review Act to strip away protections implemented during the Obama administration for wolves, bears and other predators on national wildlife refuges in Alaska. By eliminating these protections, the House measure greenlights killing wolves and their pups in their dens and allows bears to be gunned down at bait stations. “Rolling back protections for predators defies everything wildlife refuges stand for,” said Emily Jeffers, an attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity. “Refuges are places where we celebrate biological [...]

Congressional Review Act Claims Latest Victim

WASHINGTON (Feb. 7, 2017) —The House of Representatives invoked the Congressional Review Act again today to rescind a new planning process for the Bureau of Land Management that updates and enhances the agency’s management and conservation of public lands and resources. The plan is the latest Obama-era environmental, health and safety regulation the House and Senate have targeted under the CRA, including the Stream Protection Rule, which both chambers voted to annul last week. Statement from Defenders of Wildlife President and CEO, Jamie Rappaport Clark: “The House of Representatives just used the Congressional Review Act to claim its latest victim: [...]

By | February 8th, 2017|Conservation News, Press Releases, Public Lands|0 Comments

Revised Red Wolf Recovery Plan Could Save Wild Population in U.S.

With Only 45 Remaining in North Carolina, Fish and Wildlife Service Pledges to Rethink Management Approach WASHINGTON - January 31, 2017 - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has pledged to prepare an updated recovery plan in 2018 for the rapidly dwindling population of wild red wolves. In responding to a December petition for a revised recovery plan filed by seven animal protection and conservation organizations, the Service explains that a revised recovery plan will incorporate new information about red wolves, including a “species status assessment” to be prepared by October. “The science shows that red wolves can be saved [...]

By | February 2nd, 2017|Conservation, Conservation News, Press Releases|0 Comments

House Moves to Encourage Drilling in National Parks

Reversal of drilling rules part of larger attempt by Congress to weaken park protections WASHINGTON - January 31, 2017 – Congressman Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) last night introduced H.J. Res. 46, which seeks to repeal updates to the National Park Service’s “9B” rules. The rules require detailed planning and set safety standards for oil and gas drilling inside the more than 40 national parks that have “split estate” ownership, where the federal government owns the surface but not the subsurface mineral rights. The resolution is just the latest in a series of moves by federal lawmakers to weaken environmental protections for [...]