Conservation, wildlife and refuge news and legislative issues of concern

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 [...]

For the First Time Ever, Audubon Opposes a Nominee for EPA Administrator

Scott Pruitt is Categorically Unfit to Protect America’s Water, Air and Health WASHINGTON, D.C.—The National Audubon Society formally opposes Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency, the first such formal opposition from the 112-year-old conservation group. In an op-ed for the Huffington Post, Audubon President and CEO David Yarnold (@david_yarnold) outlines the rationale behind the decision: “How can Scott Pruitt be the protector of America’s water, air and health when he has so relentlessly attacked the agency in charge of providing those protections and demonstrated such disregard for these precious resources while serving as attorney general of his state? [...]

By | January 18th, 2017|Conservation News, Press Releases|0 Comments

Senate Considers Nomination of Ryan Zinke for Secretary of Interior

Nomination Is Disaster for America's Public Lands, Endangered Species, Climate WASHINGTON— The Senate Energy and Natural Resource Committee today begins a nomination hearing on President-elect Trump’s selection of Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.) as the next secretary of the Interior. As secretary Zinke would oversee the nation’s more than 1,500 endangered species, hundreds of millions of acres of public land, including national parks, high deserts and national wildlife refuges. The Center for Biological Diversity sent a letter of opposition to members of the committee in advance of today’s hearing. The incoming Interior secretary will decide the fate of several high-profile Obama [...]

By | January 17th, 2017|Conservation News, Press Releases, Public Lands|0 Comments