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Manchin Pushes Most Significant Environmental Rollback in Decades
WASHINGTON— After weeks of keeping the public and virtually all members of Congress in the dark, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Joe Manchin today released the details of their secret deal that Manchin demanded as payment for voting to pass the Inflation Reduction Act.Read more.
Appeal Challenges Arizona Fort’s Fake Groundwater Pumping Credits That Threaten San Pedro River
TUCSON, Ariz.— Conservation groups have appealed a federal court ruling to challenge the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s granting groundwater credits to the U.S. Army’s Fort Huachuca that fail to return water to the imperiled San Pedro River.Read more.
Judge Vacates Approval of Cadiz’s California Desert Water Grab
LOS ANGELES— A federal judge has vacated a U.S. Bureau of Land Management decision that would have allowed Cadiz Inc. to repurpose a mothballed oil-and-gas pipeline to drain a large aquifer in the Mojave Desert.Read more.
Lawsuit Aims to Force Biden Administration to Protect Red Squirrel, Nation’s Most Endangered Mammal, From Extinction
TUCSON, Ariz.— Conservation groups have sued the Biden administration to force two federal agencies to comply with the Endangered Species Act and protect imperiled Mount Graham red squirrels in southeastern Arizona from extinction.Read more.
Agreement Reached to Protect Endangered Species From Livestock in National Conservation Area in Arizona
PHOENIX— A federal judge approved an agreement today to protect critical habitat for threatened and endangered species from cattle grazing in southeastern Arizona’s Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area.Read more.
Federal Lawsuit Challenges Forest Service OK of Oil Railway Right-of-Way
WASHINGTON— Conservation groups sued the U.S. Forest Service today to challenge the agency’s approval of construction of an oil railway through a protected roadless area of the Ashley National Forest in Utah.Read more.
Documents: Army Corps Decided to Resume Border Wall Construction 10 Days Into Biden Term
WASHINGTON— Public records show the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers decided to resume border wall construction just 10 days into the 60-day pause President Biden imposed when he took office last year. The records, obtained by the Center for Biological Diversity under the Freedom of Information Act, make clear that the Army Corps’ career staff was committed to continuing construction of Trump’s border wall.Read more.
Legal Agreement Blocks Drilling on 58,000 Acres in Montana, Dakotas Pending New Analysis
GREAT FALLS, Mont.— Conservation groups and the Bureau of Land Management have reached an agreement that will prevent new oil and gas drilling on 58,000 acres of public lands in Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota pending a new analysis of its potential harm to groundwater and the climate.Read more.
Court Rejects Wyoming, Industry Challenge to Biden Administration Postponement of Oil, Gas Lease Sales
WASHINGTON— A federal judge in Wyoming has affirmed the Biden administration’s decisions to postpone oil and gas lease sales in early 2021, holding that the federal government has broad authority to postpone sales to address environmental concerns.Read more.
Federal Agencies Urged to Update Mining Rules, Halt Industry Handouts
WASHINGTON— Tribal, conservation and community groups representing millions of people filed formal comments with federal agencies today calling for more protective hardrock mining rules and legislation, including requiring mineral recycling to protect people and the environment.Read more.
144,000 Call for Protecting Mature, Old-Growth Federal Forests, Trees From Logging
WASHINGTON— Environmental groups delivered 144,000 public comments today urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Interior Department to protect mature and old-growth forests and trees on federal public lands from logging.Read more.
State Votes to Protect Imperiled Wildflower Threatened by California Gold Mining
LOS ANGELES— The California Fish and Game Commission agreed today to temporarily protect Inyo rock daisies under the California Endangered Species Act while the state studies whether to safeguard them permanently.Read more.
Legal Agreement to Permanently Close Oil Wells, Restore Habitat in California’s Carrizo Plain National Monument
SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, Calif.― Conservation groups today announced a legal agreement securing the permanent closure and restoration of 11 long-dormant oil wells inside the Carrizo Plain National Monument, a unique landscape in central California famous for its vibrant springtime wildflower displays and rare wildlife.Read more.
Judge Reinstates Obama-Era Coal Leasing Moratorium on Federal Lands
GREAT FALLS, Mont.— A federal judge in Montana District Court ruled today to reinstate a moratorium on new coal leasing on public lands, halting all coal leasing on federal lands until the Bureau of Land Management completes a more sufficient environmental analysis.Read more.
Legal Agreement Blocks Oil, Gas Leasing on 2.2 Million Acres in Colorado
DENVER— Conservation groups and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management have finalized a legal agreement that will prevent new oil and gas leasing across 2.2 million acres of southwestern Colorado until the agency supplements its environmental analysis and releases an amended plan for lands in the area.Read more.
Pressure Mounts on Agriculture Secretary to Reject Hazardous Utah Oil Trains
SALT LAKE CITY— More than 100 environmental, climate and frontline Gulf Coast groups, representing millions of supporters across the country, today urged Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to stop the Uinta Basin Railway. The proposed railway would create 53 million tons of new carbon pollution every year by opening Utah’s remote Uinta Basin to more oil extraction.Read more.
Lawsuit Launched Seeking EPA Pollution Limits for Arizona Creek Threatened by Copper Mine
SUPERIOR, Ariz.— Conservation groups filed a formal notice of intent to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today in response to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality’s decades-long failure to limit pollution in Queen Creek.Read more.
Viva El Jefe! Arizona’s Famous Jaguar Lives, But What’s His Future?
TUCSON, Ariz.— News that the beloved jaguar El Jefe has been spotted alive and well in Sonora, Mexico, is tempered by concerns that his potential pathway back to the United States could be blocked by the border wall and his last known territory in Arizona’s Santa Rita Mountains is threatened by the construction of a copper mine.Read more.
Federal Court Cites Human Health, Climate Costs in Rejecting Massive Wyoming, Montana Coal Mining Plan
GREAT FALLS, Mont.— A federal judge late Wednesday struck down two U.S. Bureau of Land Management resource management plans that failed to address the public health consequences of allowing massive amounts of coal, oil and gas production from public lands and minerals in the Powder River Basin, including approximately 6 billion tons of low-grade, highly polluting coal over 20 years.Read more.
Legal Agreements Block Drilling, Fracking Across 1 Million Acres in Central California
BAKERSFIELD, Calif.— Community and conservation groups and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management reached an agreement today to suspend new oil and gas leasing across more than 1 million acres of public lands in California’s Central Valley and Central Coast.Read more.
Legal Agreement Halts Construction at Nevada Geothermal Project to Weigh Harm to Rare Toad
RENO, Nev.— The Center for Biological Diversity and geothermal developer Ormat reached a legal agreement today to halt construction of the Dixie Meadows Geothermal Project until the risks to the endangered Dixie Valley toad can be fully evaluated. The Center’s co-plaintiffs, the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe, and the Department of the Interior were also parties to the agreement.Read more.
Lawsuit Aims to Protect Western Colorado’s Air From Arch Coal’s West Elk Mine
GUNNISON, Colo.— Conservation groups sued Colorado Gov. Jared Polis’s administration today over its failure to ensure the West Elk coal mine in western Colorado complies with state and federal clean-air laws.Read more.
Victory for Nevada Lands, Wildlife: House Committee Rebuffs Proposed Military Land Grab
RENO, Nev.— Late on Tuesday the House Rules Committee declined to advance an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act from Rep. Mark Amodei (R-Nev.) that would have transferred hundreds of thousands of acres of public land to the military and private developers.Read more.
Report: Federal Logging Projects Put 10 Climate-Saving Forests on Chopping Block
PORTLAND, Ore.— Federal agencies are targeting mature and old-growth forests for logging, according to a new report, despite these trees’ extraordinary ability to curb climate change and President Biden’s directive to preserve them.Read more.
Biden Administration Paves Way for Railway That Will Quadruple Oil Production in Utah’s Uinta Basin
SALT LAKE CITY— The U.S. Forest Service has rejected challenges to the Uinta Basin Railway, saying the project is in the public interest even as it predicts the oil railway could increase climate pollution in the U.S. by nearly 1%.Read more.
Lawsuit Seeks to Protect Crucial Grizzly Habitat in Montana’s Oldest Forests
MISSOULA, Mont.— Conservation groups sued the U.S. Forest Service today to challenge its approval of a massive logging project that would clearcut thousands of acres and log mature and old-growth forest in the Kootenai National Forest in northwestern Montana.Read more.
Lawsuit Challenges Biden’s Resumption of Oil, Gas Leasing on Public Lands
WASHINGTON— Climate and conservation groups filed a lawsuit late Tuesday challenging the Biden administration’s resumption of oil and gas leasing on public lands today — the first auctions since the president paused leasing shortly after taking office.Read more.
New Vilsack Guidance to Forest Service Falls Short of Protecting Old, Mature Forests
WASHINGTON— Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack signed a memorandum today clarifying the U.S. Forest Service’s direction on climate policy. The memo follows a recent White House executive order highlighting the importance of conserving mature and old-growth forests on federal lands as a climate solution.Read more.
California Commission Deadlocks on Protecting Western Joshua Trees as Threatened Species
LOS ANGELES— The California Fish and Game Commission deadlocked today on whether to give western Joshua trees permanent protection under the state’s Endangered Species Act, delaying a final decision until at least October.Read more.
9th Circuit Court to Hear Arguments Wednesday Challenging Geothermal Plant Endangering Sacred Site, Rare Toad
SAN FRANCISCO— Attorneys for conservation advocates and the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe will present oral arguments Wednesday to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco challenging the government’s approval of a geothermal power plant. The plant threatens to destroy a Nevada sacred site and drive the rare Dixie Valley toad to extinction.Read more.
Mobile Billboard Calls Out Biden’s Broken Climate Promises During Santa Fe Visit
SANTA FE, N.M.— Friends of the Earth, the Center for Biological Diversity and WildEarth Guardians will display a mobile billboard Saturday during President Biden’s visit to Santa Fe, criticizing the administration for its broken promises to end oil and gas leasing on public lands and waters. Biden will receive an update on the historic wildfires that have burned nearly 500 square miles of New Mexico.Read more.
Senate Committee Considers Grand Canyon Protection Act
PHOENIX— A U.S. Senate subcommittee held a hearing today for the Grand Canyon Protection Act, an important step toward passage of legislation to protect about 1 million acres of public lands near Grand Canyon National Park from toxic uranium mining. The Act would make permanent a ban on mining that was enacted administratively in 2012.Read more.
Conservationists Back Havasupai Tribe’s Opposition to Grand Canyon Uranium Mine
GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK― Conservation groups joined the Havasupai Tribe today to denounce the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality’s approval of a key permit for a uranium mine near Grand Canyon’s South Rim. On Friday the Tribe sent a letter to Arizona officials reasserting its opposition to the mine and calling for new hydrological studies, regular meetings and monitoring data for the Pinyon Plain Mine.Read more.
Utah Judge to Hear Arguments Wednesday on Misuse of Public Money for Oil Train
SALT LAKE CITY― A Utah district court judge will hear arguments Wednesday in a lawsuit filed by conservation groups challenging the misuse of public funds on fossil fuel projects, including the proposed Uinta Basin Railway.Read more.
Federal Judge Stops 35,000-Acre Fracking Plan in Western Colorado
DENVER― A U.S. District Court judge today vacated a federal plan that allowed fracking across 35,000 acres of Colorado’s Western Slope.Read more.
Legal Protests Target Biden’s Plans To Resume Oil, Gas Leasing on Public Lands
WASHINGTON— Climate, conservation and community groups from across the country filed administrative protests today challenging the Biden administration’s plans to resume oil and gas leasing in June, saying the president should end new leasing to heed his own climate goals while protecting communities, water and wildlife.Read more.
Court Rules Federal Agency Wrongly Withdrew Bi-State Sage Grouse Protections
SAN FRANCISCO― A federal court has ruled that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service illegally withdrew its proposal to list the bi-state sage grouse as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.Read more.
Federal Appeals Court Upholds Decision to Halt Rosemont Mine in Arizona
TUCSON, Ariz.— A federal appeals court today upheld the invalidation of the U.S. Forest Service’s approval of a controversial open-pit copper mine in southern Arizona’s Santa Rita Mountains.Read more.
Lawsuit Expands Challenge to Damaging Grazing in Agua Fria National Monument in Arizona
TUCSON, Ariz.— The Center for Biological Diversity and Maricopa Audubon Society initiated new legal proceedings against the U.S. Bureau of Land Management today to stop cattle in four grazing allotments from further damaging streams and riparian areas of the Agua Fria National Monument in central Arizona.Read more.
Legal Appeal Aims to Defend Wyoming’s Path of the Pronghorn From Massive Fracking Project
DENVER— Conservation groups today appealed a federal court’s decision upholding a Trump-era plan to allow 3,500 new gas wells in southwestern Wyoming.Read more.
Arizona OKs Uranium Mining Permit That Puts Grand Canyon’s Groundwater, Springs at Risk
GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, Ariz.— The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality approved an aquifer protection permit late Thursday for a uranium mine near Grand Canyon National Park.Read more.
Legal Actions Challenge Huge Logging Project in Los Padres National Forest
VENTURA, Calif.— A coalition of environmental, business and recreational organizations — joined by the county of Ventura and the city of Ojai — filed suit in federal court today to challenge a commercial logging and vegetation removal project atop Pine Mountain and Reyes Peak in the Los Padres National Forest.Read more.
Lawsuit Challenges Federal OK of Arizona Freeway That Will Harm Climate, Wildlife, Public Lands
TUCSON, Ariz.— Conservation groups sued the Federal Highway Administration today to challenge its approval of Interstate 11, a proposed north-south highway in Arizona that would destroy pristine Sonoran Desert, harm threatened desert tortoises and other wildlife, and worsen air pollution.Read more.
Biden Administration to Restart Oil, Gas Leasing on Public Lands
WASHINGTON— The Bureau of Land Management announced today that it will resume oil and gas leasing on public lands, violating President Biden’s campaign promise to end new oil and gas leasing and locking in new extraction that thwarts his pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.Read more.
Mining Company Told to Stop Illegal Dumping in Arizona’s Santa Rita Mountains
TUCSON, Ariz.— Conservation groups filed a formal notice today of their intent to sue an international mining company to protect critical desert streams and washes in southern Arizona’s Santa Rita Mountains.Read more.
State Wildlife Agency Recommends Ending Protection for California’s Climate-Threatened Western Joshua Trees
SACRAMENTO, Calif.— In a report released today, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife recommended ending interim protections for imperiled western Joshua trees, opening the door for widespread destruction of one of California’s most iconic species.Read more.
Developer Ditches Plan to Dam Arizona’s San Francisco River
PHOENIX— A developer notified federal regulators today that it has abandoned plans for a 200-foot-tall dam along a remote, biodiverse stretch of the San Francisco River at the Arizona-New Mexico border.Read more.
Lawsuit Launched to Stop Power Plant Construction, Save Nevada Toad After Endangered Species Listing
RENO, Nev.— The Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe and the Center for Biological Diversity filed a formal notice of intent today to sue the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to halt construction of the Dixie Meadows geothermal power plant. Federal wildlife managers say the plant poses a significant risk of extinction to the Dixie Valley toad.Read more.
Lawsuit Filed to Protect Redwood Forest in California From Logging
MENDOCINO, Calif.― Environmental groups have filed a lawsuit to stop the Mendocino Redwood Company from logging nearly 1,000 acres of redwood forest in a California watershed that provides habitat for threatened northern spotted owls and fish.Read more.
Federal Court Rejects Fort Huachuca’s Groundwater Pumping Plan for Fourth Time
TUCSON, Ariz.— A federal judge has rejected the latest plan by the U.S. Army and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service aimed at preventing damage to the San Pedro River and its endangered species from groundwater pumping to serve Fort Huachuca and the Fort’s population in surrounding areas.Read more.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Gives Rare Nevada Toad Emergency Endangered Species Protection
RENO, Nev.— The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today it would immediately protect the rare Dixie Valley toad under the Endangered Species Act on an emergency basis. The toads face an acute threat of extinction from the construction of a geothermal power plant adjacent to their only home at Dixie Meadows, a hot spring-fed wetland in Churchill County, Nevada.Read more.
Agreement Prohibits Military Spending on Border Wall, Requires Restoration, Damage Study
WASHINGTON— Several federal agencies and the Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife and Animal Legal Defense Fund reached an agreement today that prohibits military spending on border walls.Read more.
Lawsuit Seeks Interior Department Documents Behind Oil, Gas Leasing Report
GREAT FALLS, Mont.— Climate and conservation groups sued the U.S. Interior Department on Friday for failing to release public records, including documents behind the development of a federal oil and gas leasing report, related to President Biden’s 2021 executive order to address climate change.Read more.
Mining Company Nixes California Gold Exploration That Threatened Rare Daisy
LOS ANGELES— A Canadian mining company has announced it’s suspending a proposal to expand gold mining exploration and road building on California’s Conglomerate Mesa after the U.S. Bureau of Land Management required an environmental impact statement for the project.Read more.
Nevada Geothermal Project Breaks Ground While Court Battles Rage
RENO, Nev.— Bulldozers broke ground this week at geothermal developer Ormat’s Dixie Meadows Geothermal Project in Churchill County, Nevada, while court battles over the project’s fate continue.Read more.
Legal Intervention Backs California’s Authority to Protect Oceano Dunes From Off-Road Vehicles
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif.— Conservation, Native American and community groups filed a motion this week to intervene in a lawsuit to defend the California Coastal Commission’s March 2021 decision phasing out off-highway vehicle use at Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area.Read more.
Missing Link in Biden’s Climate Agenda: Letting Older Trees Grow
WASHINGTON— A coalition of more than 70 groups launched a new campaign today called the Climate Forests Campaign and called on the Biden administration to take executive action to protect mature trees and forests on federal lands, which are critical in the fight against climate change.Read more.
Lawsuit Targets Federal OK of Railway That Would Quadruple Oil Production in Utah’s Uinta Basin
WASHINGTON— Conservation groups sued the U.S. Surface Transportation Board today to challenge its approval of a new rail line designed to quadruple oil production in Utah’s Uinta Basin and send most of the crude to Gulf Coast refineries.Read more.
Federal Appeals Court Axes Commercial Logging in Los Padres National Forest Roadless Area in California
LOS ANGELES― A federal appeals court blocked a commercial logging project in a roadless area of the Los Padres National Forest today, siding with three conservation groups to protect 1,100 acres of old-growth forest actively used by endangered California condors.Read more.
Federal, California Protections Sought for Rare Daisy Imperiled by Gold Mining
SACRAMENTO, Calif.— The Center for Biological Diversity, California Native Plant Society and a botanist who studies the rare Inyo rock daisy formally petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today to protect the rare daisy under the federal Endangered Species Act.Read more.
Utah BLM Urged to Cease Destruction of Dinosaur Tracksite
SALT LAKE CITY— The Center for Biological Diversity sent a cease-and-desist letter to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s Utah office today urging the agency to immediately halt the destruction of irreplaceable paleontological resources at the Mill Canyon Dinosaur Tracksite near Moab.Read more.
Lawsuit Seeks Documents on Biden Administration’s Border Levee Wall Construction in Texas
WASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers today for failing to release public records about construction of new border walls on levees along the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.Read more.
100-Plus Environmental Groups Urge Agriculture Secretary to Block Oil Train Railway Through Utah, Colorado
WASHINGTON— More than 100 environmental organizations, representing millions of supporters across the country, urged Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack today to block a proposed right-of-way through a Utah national forest that would enable construction of the Uinta Basin Railway.Read more.
Lawsuit Aims to Protect Threatened Lynx, Bats From Massive Copper Mine in Superior National Forest in Minnesota
DULUTH, Minn.— Conservation groups sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers today, saying their approval of the PolyMet open-pit copper mine and land exchange in the Superior National Forest in northeastern Minnesota violates the Endangered Species Act.Read more.
New Data: Biden’s First Year Drilling Permitting Stomps Trump’s By 34%
WASHINGTON— New federal data shows the Biden administration approved 3,557 permits for oil and gas drilling on public lands in its first year, far outpacing the Trump administration’s first-year total of 2,658.Read more.
Legal Petition Calls On Biden to Phase Out Federal Oil, Gas by 2035
WASHINGTON— More than 360 climate, tribal, religious and conservation groups petitioned the Biden administration today to use its executive authority to phase out oil and gas production on public lands and oceans.Read more.
Agreement Reached Securing Clean Air Act Compliance for Colorado Coal Mine
DENVER— A federal judge approved a consent agreement today that requires Mountain Coal Co., a subsidiary of Arch Coal, to operate pollution-control equipment and obtain and comply with a Clean Air Act permit for its West Elk coal mine.Read more.
Lawsuit Challenges Destructive Grazing in Agua Fria National Monument
TUCSON, Ariz.— The Center for Biological Diversity and Maricopa Audubon Society sued the U.S. Bureau of Land Management today to challenge widespread, destructive cattle grazing in streams and riparian areas of the Agua Fria National Monument in central Arizona.Read more.
Press Conference to Introduce New Utah 30x30 Coalition, Survey Results on Protecting Land, Water
SALT LAKE CITY— The new Utah 30x30 Coalition will hold a virtual press conference Thursday to announce its goals, invite Utahns to join the effort and release results of a survey showing what lands and waters Utahns want to see protected.Read more.
Judge Halts Nevada Geothermal Energy Project Days Before Bulldozers Set to Start Destroying Sacred Springs
RENO, Nev.— A federal judge today halted the start of construction on the Dixie Meadows geothermal energy project in central Nevada. The judge found that the project posed significant risk of harm to the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe and the ecosystems there.Read more.
Lawsuit Launched Against Biden Administration’s Texas Border Levee Wall Construction
WASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity filed a formal notice of intent today to sue the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection for failing to protect endangered ocelots during construction of border levees along the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.Read more.
Lawsuit Filed to Stop Geothermal Project From Destroying Nevada Springs
RENO, Nev.— The Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe and Center for Biological Diversity sued the U.S. Bureau of Land Management Wednesday over its approval of the Dixie Meadows geothermal energy project, which could dry up nearby springs and harm an extremely rare amphibian, the Dixie Valley toad.Read more.
Law Requires Biden to Cancel February Oil Lease Sale to Prevent Climate Harm
WASHINGTON— Conservation groups submitted formal comments today urging cancelation of February’s federal oil and gas lease auctions, saying the Biden administration is legally required to prevent harm from the leasing program’s greenhouse gas emissions, not just disclose it.Read more.
Biden Administration Moves to Withdraw Trump-Era Pipeline Approval for Cadiz’s California Desert Water Grab
LOS ANGELES— The U.S. Bureau of Land Management today moved to scrap a Trump administration decision challenged by conservation groups last March that illegally granted a pipeline right-of-way to Cadiz Inc. without the required environmental review.Read more.
Federal Process Could Reopen Vacant Hammond Grazing Allotments in Oregon
BURNS, Ore.— The U.S. Bureau of Land Management launched a process today that could allow new grazing on four allotments near Steens Mountain in southeastern Oregon on public land previously grazed by Hammond Ranches. Conservation groups want cattle kept out of this sensitive wildlife habitat, which was subjected to decades of harmful grazing.Read more.
Records Sought on Climate Failure of Biden Oil, Gas Review
WASHINGTON— Climate and conservation groups filed a Freedom of Information Act request today seeking public records from the Interior Department relating to its recent report reviewing the federal oil and gas leasing programs that presumes expanded leasing.Read more.
Biden Administration Urged to Protect Older, Mature Forests in Climate Action Plans
WASHINGTON— The Biden administration’s plans to help federal forests combat and adapt to climate change fail to protect mature and old-growth forests, a glaring omission conservation groups noted in formal comments submitted today.Read more.
Anti-Fossil Fuel Protest Meets U.S. Interior Secretary at COP26
GLASGOW, Scotland— Leaders from the Build Back Fossil Free campaign unfurled a large banner today at the United Nations climate summit in Glasgow urging the Biden administration to halt federal oil, gas and coal expansion on public lands and oceans.Read more.
Anti-Fossil Fuel Protest to Meet U.S. Interior Secretary at COP26
GLASGOW, Scotland— Grassroots leaders from the U.S. Gulf Coast will gather for a photo and speaking opportunity ahead of Interior Secretary Deb Haaland’s remarks at the U.N. climate summit today. Just three days after the end of COP26, the Biden administration is slated to hold a major offshore oil and gas lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico. The representatives of impacted communities and other climate justice groups in the Build Back Fossil Free campaign will demand President Biden keep his promise to end new federal fossil fuel leasing and permitting on public lands and waters.Read more.
Biden Makes Climate Pledge at Glasgow While Pushing Oil, Gas Leasing in U.S.
WASHINGTON— U.S. climate groups slammed the Biden administration today for ignoring climate impacts and refusing to stop oil and gas leasing on public lands despite President Biden’s Glasgow pledge to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The revised plans for February lease sales in seven western states, announced this week by the Bureau of Land Management, defer some acres to protect imperiled species but none for climate mitigation.Read more.
U.S. Activists: Biden Climate Credibility in Glasgow Depends on Executive Action
GLASGOW— U.S. grassroots activists from the Build Back Fossil Free coalition will gather for a photo and speaking opportunity ahead of President Biden’s remarks at the U.N. climate summit today. The representatives of frontline communities and dozens of other climate justice groups will demand Biden take executive action to stop fossil fuel project approvals and declare a climate emergency, building on the historic People vs. Fossil Fuels week of action last month in Washington, D.C.Read more.
128 Groups to Biden Administration: Protect Old, Mature Forests
WASHINGTON— As the Biden administration prepares for the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland, 128 environmental groups delivered a letter to the White House asking that the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management stop the logging of older forests and trees on public lands. The letter asks that this commitment be part of the United States’ larger climate goals.Read more.
Biden’s Forest Service Poised to Facilitate Quadrupling of Crude Oil Production in Utah’s Uinta Basin Days Before Glasgow Climate Summit
SALT LAKE CITY— In a massive blow to U.S. efforts to address the climate crisis, the Biden administration is poised to approve a right-of-way through the Ashley National Forest that would take the climate-damaging Uinta Basin Railway one step closer to being built.Read more.
Lawsuit Challenges Gold Drilling in Sage Grouse Habitat in California’s Eastern Sierra Nevada
SACRAMENTO— Conservation groups sued the U.S. Forest Service today to stop exploratory drilling in California’s eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains that threatens an endangered fish and a dwindling population of bi-state sage grouse.Read more.
Agreement Reached to Protect Endangered Species From Livestock on Arizona’s Verde River
PHOENIX— A federal judge approved an agreement today among the Center for Biological Diversity, Maricopa Audubon Society, U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife to protect the Verde River, its tributaries and streambanks from cattle grazing.Read more.
Press Conference Wednesday at Interior Department to Deliver Millions of Signatures Calling for Ending Federal Fossil Fuel Extraction
WASHINGTON— Indigenous, climate and conservation groups, including members of frontline New Mexico communities, will hold a press conference Wednesday at the U.S. Interior Department before delivering letters and petitions from more than 1,000 groups containing millions of signatures calling for an end to federal oil, gas and coal extraction.Read more.
Lawsuit Seeks to Protect National Conservation Area in Arizona From Destructive Cattle Grazing
TUCSON, Ariz.― The Center for Biological Diversity and Maricopa Audubon Society sued the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and Fish and Wildlife Service today to force them to protect critical habitat for threatened and endangered species in the Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area in southeastern Arizona.Read more.
Lawsuit Targets Trespass Grazing Destruction of Endangered Plant in Arizona’s San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area
TUCSON, Ariz.— The Center for Biological Diversity and Maricopa Audubon Society sued the U.S. Bureau of Land Management today for failing to protect a semi-aquatic endangered plant in the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area from rampant trespass livestock grazing.Read more.
Objections Target Biden’s Oil Leasing Plan Amidst Climate ‘Code Red’
WASHINGTON— Conservation groups filed formal objections today to the Biden administration’s plans to offer 734,000 acres of public lands for oil and gas leasing amid what the president himself has called a climate “code red.” Oil and gas in the proposed leases contain up to 246 million tons of climate pollution — as much as 62 coal-fired power plants emit in one year.Read more.
Federal Judge Overturns Oil, Gas Lease Sales on 58,000 Acres of Public Lands in Colorado
DENVER— A federal judge late Tuesday overturned the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s decision to lease 58,000 acres of public land in western Colorado for oil and gas extraction, agreeing with conservation groups that fracking and drilling will worsen air quality in a region where smog levels have exceeded federal pollution standards and threaten public health.Read more.
Poll: 3 in 4 Arizonans Oppose Resolution Copper Mine, Support Protecting Sacred Oak Flat
TUCSON, Ariz.— A public opinion poll among likely Arizona voters found that 74% oppose the proposed Resolution Copper mine, which would destroy Oak Flat, a Native American sacred site located in the Tonto National Forest east of Phoenix.Read more.
Lawsuit Targets Federal OK of Off-Road Routes, Grazing Threatening Imperiled Species in California Deserts
SAN FRANCISCO— Environmental groups sued the Interior Department, U.S. Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today for authorizing damaging activities in the California Desert Conservation Area, including a vast network of off-road vehicle routes in the West Mojave Desert. The routes are driving desert tortoises and other threatened and endangered species closer to extinction and destroying these protected public lands.Read more.
Tribes, Indigenous Groups, Conservation Organizations File Petition to Strengthen Federal Mining Rules
WASHINGTON— Tribes, Indigenous groups and conservation organizations filed a rulemaking petition today with the U.S. Department of the Interior to improve and modernize hardrock mining oversight on public lands. The proposed revisions aim to safeguard critically important lands across the West and Alaska, including sacred lands and their cultural resources, vital wildlife habitat and invaluable water resources.Read more.
BLM Withdraws Decision Allowing Grazing in California Area Protected for Desert Tortoises
SAN FRANCISCO— An appeal by environmental groups forced the U.S. Bureau of Land Management late Tuesday to withdraw its decision allowing cattle grazing on public lands near California’s Mojave Desert. The area had been deemed permanently off limits to grazing under an earlier agreement to protect the federally threatened desert tortoise and other sensitive plants and animals.Read more.
Judge Rules Homeland Security Failed to Consider Environmental Harm of Ramping Up Border Militarization
WASHINGTON— A federal judge ruled today that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection violated federal law by failing to analyze potential environmental harms from escalating militarization along the U.S.-Mexico border.Read more.
Lawsuit Launched to Stop Destruction of Endangered Amargosa Vole’s California Habitat
TECOPA, Calif.— The Center for Biological Diversity filed a formal notice today of its intent to sue the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for failing to protect critical habitat for Amargosa voles. The small, endangered mammals live only in marshes near increasingly popular desert hot springs in the Mojave Desert near Tecopa, Calif.Read more.
Interior Department Announces Federal Coal Review, First Step Toward Ending Federal Leasing Program
WASHINGTON— The Biden administration today announced the launch of a long-overdue formal climate review of the federal coal program. President Biden has paused federal oil and gas leasing pending a climate review of that program.Read more.
Agreement Reached to Protect Endangered Species From Livestock on Arizona, New Mexico Waterways
SILVER CITY, N.M.— The Center for Biological Diversity, U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reached an agreement today to protect rivers and streams in eastern Arizona and western New Mexico from cattle grazing. This agreement comes more than 20 years after the agencies first promised to keep cows off these riparian habitats to safeguard rare plants and animals.Read more.
Report: Utah Board Misused Public Money on Fossil Fuel Projects, Failed to Fund Rural Community Needs
SALT LAKE CITY— The Utah Clean Infrastructure Coalition released a report today showing Utah’s Permanent Community Impact Fund Board has funneled more than $109 million in public money to projects that promote or expand fossil fuel extraction, violating the federal Mineral Leasing Act.Read more.
Report to Be Released on Misuse of Public Funds on Utah Fossil Fuel Projects
SALT LAKE CITY— The Utah Clean Infrastructure Coalition will release a report Tuesday showing Utah’s Permanent Community Impact Fund Board has funneled more than $109 million in public money to projects that promote or expand fossil fuel extraction, in violation of the federal Mineral Leasing Act.Read more.
Appeal Challenges Federal Approval of Water Contract Threatening Utah’s Green River
WASHINGTON― Conservation groups today appealed a recent federal court decision upholding the Trump administration’s approval of a contract to allow additional water to be taken from the Green River below Utah’s Flaming Gorge Dam.Read more.
Lawsuit Targets Cattle Grazing That Threatens Streamside Meadows, Endangered Species in New Mexico’s Sacramento Mountains
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— The Center for Biological Diversity and Maricopa Audubon Society sued the U.S. Forest Service today to challenge its failure to protect streamside meadows in New Mexico’s Sacramento Mountains from cattle. The areas are critical habitat for the endangered New Mexico meadow jumping mouse.Read more.
Utah Judge to Hear Case on Misuse of Public Money on Fossil Fuel Projects
SALT LAKE CITY― A Utah district court judge will hear arguments Wednesday in a lawsuit filed by conservation groups challenging the misuse of public funds on fossil fuel projects.Read more.
Rare Southeast Alaska Wolf One Step Closer to Endangered Species Protection
SITKA, Alaska— The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that Alexander Archipelago wolves in Southeast Alaska may warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act and started a year-long status review. The decision comes in response to a July 2020 petition from the Center for Biological Diversity, Alaska Rainforest Defenders and Defenders of Wildlife.Read more.
La UNESCO insta a poner fin al muro fronterizo que amenaza la vida silvestre en sitio de Patrimonio Mundial en México
FUZHOU, China— El Comité del Patrimonio Mundial de la UNESCO instó hoy a los Estados Unidos a detener la construcción del muro fronterizo, trabajar con México para evaluar los daños del muro en la Reserva de la Biosfera El Pinacate y Gran Desierto de Altar en México y en las tierras protegidas adyacentes en los Estados Unidos, y restaurar el paisaje y hábitat de la vida silvestre.Read more.
UNESCO Urges End to Border Wall Threatening World Heritage Site, Wildlife in Mexico
FUZHOU, China— The UNESCO World Heritage Committee today urged the United States to stop border wall construction. The committee also called on the United States to work with Mexico to assess damage from the wall to a World Heritage site in Mexico and adjacent protected lands in the United States and recommend ways to restore the landscape and wildlife habitat.Read more.
Lawsuit Launched to Protect National Conservation Area in Arizona From Destructive Cattle Grazing
TUCSON, Ariz.― The Center for Biological Diversity and Maricopa Audubon Society filed a notice of intent today to sue the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the Fish and Wildlife Service for failing to protect critical habitat for threatened and endangered species in the Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area in southeastern Arizona.Read more.
Congress Must Pass Save Oak Flat Act to Protect Sacred Land in Arizona From Massive Copper Mine
WASHINGTON— More than 100 conservation, Indigenous and religious groups urged Congress today to pass the Save Oak Flat Act to protect the sacred site in central Arizona from being destroyed by a massive copper mine.Read more.
Arizona to Permit Grand Canyon Uranium Mine Despite Ongoing Flooding, Water Contamination
GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, Ariz.— The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality proposed an aquifer-protection permit Wednesday for a uranium mine near Grand Canyon National Park, with a history of flooding. The mine flooding threatens to deplete shallow aquifers and contaminated water is putting regional aquifers and the springs they feed at risk.Read more.
Groups to Biden: Halt New Oil Drilling, Cancel Trump Leases on Public Lands
WASHINGTON— Climate and conservation groups today called on the Biden administration to halt new drilling permits and cancel unlawful Trump-era oil and gas leases on public lands. The letter urges the Interior Department to enact a range of interim actions to protect the climate, public lands, oceans and communities pending completion of the department’s climate review of federal fossil fuel programs.Read more.
Court Halts Drilling on 630 Square Miles of Federal Oil Leases in Key Sage Grouse Habitat
BOISE, Idaho— A federal judge on Wednesday suspended new drilling and fracking on 605 federal oil and gas leases spanning 403,820 acres of greater sage grouse habitat in Wyoming and Montana.Read more.
Lawsuit Launched to Protect Endangered Mouse, Riparian Areas in New Mexico’s Sacramento Mountains
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— The Center for Biological Diversity filed a formal notice today of its intent to sue the U.S. Forest Service for failing to protect riparian areas in New Mexico’s Sacramento Mountains from cattle. The area is critical habitat for the endangered New Mexico meadow jumping mouse.Read more.
Tucson Save Oak Flat Events to Send Off Apache Stronghold Members on D.C. Road Trip
TUCSON, Ariz.― Community events next week will rally support for the Save Oak Flat Act and send off members of Apache Stronghold as they start a cross-country road trip to Washington, D.C., to lobby for the bill’s passage. Stronghold leaders, including former San Carlos Apache Tribal Chairman Wendsler Nosie Sr., will attend a community event Sunday and an interfaith blessing Wednesday evening.Read more.
Lawsuit Targets Utah Highway Through Protected Conservation Lands, Threatened Tortoise Habitat
ST. GEORGE, Utah— Conservation groups sued federal officials Thursday to stop construction of the Northern Corridor Highway, a controversial four-lane highway through the protected Red Cliffs National Conservation Area in southwest Utah.Read more.
Environmental Groups Head to Court Against Biden Administration’s Defense of Federal Coal Leasing
GREAT FALLS, Mont.— Tribal and environmental groups filed their opening brief today challenging the Biden administration’s decision to defend a Trump-era policy continuing coal leasing on public lands. The brief argues that the Trump administration unlawfully tried to paper over fatal flaws in its rushed attempt to justify a policy reopening public lands to polluting coal mining.Read more.
Forest Service Halts Huge Clearcutting Plan Next to Yellowstone National Park That Threatened Grizzlies, Lynx
WEST YELLOWSTONE, Mont.— Following a challenge by multiple conservation groups, the U.S. Forest Service announced Thursday that it was halting a plan to clearcut more than 4,600 acres of pine forests, log across an additional 9,000 acres and bulldoze up to 56 miles of road on lands just outside Yellowstone National Park in the Custer Gallatin National Forest.Read more.
Heinrich Fossil Fuels Transition Bill Is Step in Right Direction, But Needs Work to Make States Less Dependent on Oil, Gas Revenue
WASHINGTON— Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) plans to introduce legislation (Schools and State Budgets Certainty Act) to allow states to recoup revenue losses from the transition away from fossil fuels to meet the climate crisis.Read more.
Climate Lawsuit Challenges Fracking Plan That Threatens Three National Forests in Colorado
WASHINGTON— Conservation groups filed a lawsuit today challenging the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service's 2020 approval of a plan that allows fracking across 35,000 acres of Colorado’s Western Slope. The North Fork Mancos Master Development Plan allows 35 new fracking wells in the North Fork Valley and Thompson Divide areas of the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison national forests.Read more.
Agreement Reached on Mining Exploration Permits Near Boundary Waters Wilderness in Minnesota
DULUTH, Minn.— Conservation groups and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management reached an agreement today that requires the agency to revisit its decision to renew 13 prospecting permits. The permits could have allowed Antofagasta’s Twin Metals Minnesota to significantly expand its proposed sulfide-ore copper mine at the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northeastern Minnesota.Read more.
Survey: Grazing Destroying Critical Habitat in Arizona’s Agua Fria National Monument
TUCSON, Ariz.― The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is failing to protect critical habitat for threatened and endangered species from destructive cattle grazing within Agua Fria National Monument, field surveys by the Center for Biological Diversity show. The Center has urged the BLM to remove the cattle so the monument’s streams and riparian areas can recover.Read more.
Biden Administration’s ‘America the Beautiful’ Plan Opens Door for Arizonans to Protect Lands, Waters
TUCSON, Ariz.— Arizona conservation groups today welcomed the Biden administration’s plan to conserve at least 30% of the nation’s lands and waters by 2030 and urged state and local officials to commit to the urgent work of protecting biodiversity, slowing the wildlife extinction crisis and addressing the climate emergency.Read more.
Senate Urged to Reject Fossil Fuel Attorney Beaudreau for Deputy Interior Secretary
WASHINGTON— More than 30 conservation groups today urged members of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources to oppose attorney Tommy Beaudreau’s nomination for deputy Interior secretary, saying his representation of fossil fuel companies would undermine President Biden’s climate agenda. The committee is scheduled to consider Beaudreau’s nomination Thursday.Read more.
Minnesota Supreme Court Overturns PolyMet Mining Permit, Sends It Back for New Hearing
ST. PAUL, Minn.— The Minnesota Supreme Court sided with clean water advocacy groups and the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa today, striking down PolyMet’s permit to mine and crippling the company’s sulfide mining proposal in northeastern Minnesota.Read more.
Forest Service’s Huge Clearcutting Plan Next to Yellowstone National Park Threatens Grizzlies, Lynx
WEST YELLOWSTONE, Mont.— Four conservation groups today challenged a U.S. Forest Service plan to clearcut more than 4,600 acres of pine forests, log across an additional 9,000 acres, and bulldoze up to 56 miles of road on lands just outside Yellowstone National Park within the Custer Gallatin National Forest.Read more.
Coalition Moves to Defend Biden Administration’s Oil, Gas Leasing Pause
CHEYENNE, Wyo.— Farmers and ranchers, conservation, recreation and tribal groups filed motions to intervene today to defend the Biden administration’s pause on federal oil and gas leasing pending the Interior Department’s comprehensive review of the program.Read more.
200 Groups to Biden: Align Federal Fossil Fuel Programs With U.S. Climate Goals
WASHINGTON— Hundreds of climate, Native American, religious, business and conservation organizations today called on the Biden administration to do a comprehensive environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act and other laws to align federal fossil fuel programs with U.S. climate goals to curb global warming.Read more.
Petition Asks Federal Officials to Protect Rare Plant’s Habitat From Nevada Mine
LAS VEGAS— Conservationists submitted a petition to the Bureau of Land Management today nominating 4,015 acres of surrounding habitat for the rare plant Tiehm’s buckwheat as an “area of critical environmental concern.” This includes a one-mile buffer zone and would give the highly imperiled plant new management protection.Read more.
Federal Judge Voids Western Colorado Fracking Plan, Requires New Analysis of Climate Harm
DENVER— A federal judge Friday approved the Bureau of Land Management’s request to rescind the Grand Junction resource management plan following a lawsuit by environmental groups challenging the agency’s failure to analyze its potential harm to the climate. The plan, which the agency must now redo, opened nearly 1 million acres of public land in western Colorado to fracking and drilling and prioritized fossil fuel production over all other public-lands values.Read more.
Federal Officials Urged to Deny Another Subsidy for West Elk Coal Mine in Colorado National Forest
DENVER— Conservation groups urged the Bureau of Land Management today to deny another request from Mountain Coal to lower its royalty rates for the West Elk coal mine in Colorado’s Gunnison National Forest.Read more.
Lawsuit Launched Over Federal Project Threatening Desert Tortoises, Other Imperiled Species in California Deserts
SAN FRANCISCO— Environmental groups filed a formal notice today of their intent to sue the Interior Department, U.S. Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for authorizing activities in the California Desert Conservation Area that are driving desert tortoises and other threatened and endangered species toward extinction.Read more.
Lawsuit Targets Trump Administration’s Last-minute Pipeline Approval for California Desert Water Grab
LOS ANGELES— Conservation groups sued the U.S. Bureau of Land Management today for granting a right-of-way to Cadiz, Inc. to push billions of gallons of water through a mothballed oil-and-gas pipeline that crosses Mojave Trails National Monument and other protected public land in southeastern California.Read more.
Agreement Reached to Protect Endangered Mouse, Riparian Areas in Arizona’s White Mountains
TUCSON― Conservation groups and the U.S. Forest Service reached an agreement today to protect meadows and streams in eastern Arizona’s White Mountains from cows and horses. The riparian areas are home to the critically endangered New Mexico meadow jumping mouse.Read more.
Inspiring New Leadership at Interior Department: Senate Confirms Deb Haaland
WASHINGTON— The U.S. Senate confirmed Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) today as the next Interior Department secretary. She becomes the first Native American to hold a cabinet position and the second highest-ranking enrolled Native American in history to serve in the federal government.Read more.
House Bill Introduced to Save Sacred Oak Flat, in Arizona, From Massive Copper Mine
TUCSON, Ariz.— U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) introduced the Save Oak Flat Act today to protect the Indigenous sacred site in central Arizona from being destroyed by a massive copper mine.Read more.
Court: Interior Department Failed to Provide Records on Trump Administration Collusion With Coal Industry
WASHINGTON— The chief judge of the federal district court in D.C. ruled yesterday that Trump officials unlawfully failed to provide public records to the Center for Biological Diversity about their decision to reverse the Obama administration’s “pause” on coal extraction on federal public lands.Read more.
Court Blocks Oil, Gas Extraction on Ohio’s Only National Forest
COLUMBUS, Ohio― A federal judge blocked new oil and gas leasing and fracking in Ohio’s Wayne National Forest late Monday, following a ruling last year rebuking the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service for failing to consider threats to public health, endangered species and watersheds before opening more than 40,000 acres of the forest to fracking.Read more.
Bureau of Land Management Rescinds Illegal Grazing Decision Day After Conservationists Sued to Overturn It
PORTLAND, Ore.— The Bureau of Land Management today rescinded the grazing decision that was the subject of a federal lawsuit filed yesterday by conservation groups to overturn a Trump administration decision allowing an unqualified ranching company to graze cattle on Steens Mountain in southeastern Oregon.Read more.
Lawsuit Challenges Last-Minute Trump Administration Grazing Decision in Oregon
PORTLAND, Ore.— Conservation groups sued federal officials today to overturn an eleventh-hour Trump administration decision to allow an unqualified ranching company to graze cattle on four federal allotments, known as the Bridge Creek allotments, on Steens Mountain in southeastern Oregon.Read more.
Utah Bill Would Allow Public Funding to Expand Fossil Fuel Extraction, Worsen Climate Crisis
SALT LAKE CITY— The Utah House of Representatives will consider a bill to expand the use of public funds intended to help communities deal with harms from mineral development on federal public lands, allowing the money to fund projects benefitting the fossil fuel industry.Read more.
Injunction Sought to Block Oak Flat Land Trade for Massive Arizona Copper Mine
PHOENIX— Tribal and conservation groups asked a federal judge today to block a land trade that would hand over thousands of acres in the Tonto National Forest in central Arizona to multinational mining company Rio Tinto for the massive Resolution Copper mine. The Oak Flat area, considered sacred by Apache and other Native people, would be destroyed by the mine.Read more.
Video Seems to Show Border Wall Construction Ripping Through Jaguar Critical Habitat in Arizona
NOGALES, Ariz.— Video footage shared with the Center for Biological Diversity seems to show construction equipment leveling Arizona mountains in critical habitat for endangered jaguars, in an apparent violation of President Biden’s proclamation halting border wall construction. The footage was reportedly shot on Wednesday, Feb. 10, by members of the Tucson Samaritans, who shared it with the Center.Read more.
Federal Judge Overturns Trump Administration’s Gutting of Sage-Grouse Protections from Mining
BOISE, Idaho— A federal judge today overturned a Trump administration decision to strip protections from 10 million acres, mostly in Nevada and Idaho, to allow mining in vital habitat for greater sage grouse. The ruling is the latest in a series of court victories for sage grouse conservation.Read more.
Hundreds of Groups Urge Biden to Protect Oak Flat, Reject Environmental Analysis
TUCSON, Ariz.— More than 200 conservation, Indigenous, religious and business groups urged President Biden today to withdraw the approval of a land exchange that would trade away Oak Flat, an Apache sacred site on the Tonto National Forest in central Arizona, to a mining company.Read more.
Work on ConocoPhillips Oil Project in Western Arctic Challenged in Court
ANCHORAGE, Alaska— Conservation groups filed an appeal and plan to request an emergency order today in the 9th Circuit Court Appeals to block ConocoPhillips’ work on its Willow oil and gas drilling project in the Western Arctic. They had sued the Trump administration in December for failing to study climate change and other impacts before approving the project’s final development plan. [UPDATE, Feb 7: The federal district judge granted a temporary injunction blocking work until Feb. 20.]Read more.
Biden Executive Order Pushes for Protection of 30% of America’s Land, Oceans
WASHINGTON— President Joe Biden will issue an executive order today directing federal officials to protect 30% of the country’s lands and ocean waters by 2030, part of an effort to slow the wildlife extinction crisis and curb global warming.Read more.
Biden Administration Halts Oil and Gas Leasing of Federal Lands, Oceans
WASHINGTON— President Joe Biden will issue an executive order today suspending new oil and gas leasing of federal lands and waters. The order is a first step toward fulfilling a Biden campaign pledge and a request made last month by the Center for Biological Diversity and almost 600 other organizations for an end to leasing and permitting for oil and gas extraction on public lands and oceans.Read more.
32 Colorado Groups Support Biden’s Expected Pledge to Halt New Fossil Fuel Leasing, Permitting on Public Lands
DENVER— As President Biden prepares to announce a ban on new oil and gas leasing and permitting on public lands and oceans, 32 climate, conservation, religious and business groups in Colorado today announced support for the move in a letter to the president.Read more.
Millions of Americans, Hundreds of Groups Support Halting Fossil Fuel Leasing, Permitting on Public Lands, Oceans
WASHINGTON— Environmental justice, Indigenous, climate and conservation groups from across the country announced today that in recent years they’ve delivered millions of petitions and public comments, and letters from hundreds of organizations, supporting a halt on new fossil fuel leasing and permitting on public lands and oceans.Read more.
Lawsuit Challenges Trump Administration Review of Massive Arizona Copper Mine That Would Destroy Sacred Oak Flat
PHOENIX— Tribal and conservation groups sued the U.S. Forest Service Friday to stop a land trade that would hand over thousands of acres in the Tonto National Forest in central Arizona to a London-based mining company. The Oak Flat area, considered sacred by Apache and other Native people, would be destroyed by multinational mining company Rio Tinto for a massive copper mine.Read more.
Trump Administration Flouts Law to Push Utah Highway Through Protected Conservation Lands
ST. GEORGE, Utah— The Trump administration issued a decision today to allow construction of the Northern Corridor Highway, a controversial four-lane highway through the protected Red Cliffs National Conservation Area in southwest Utah.Read more.
Letter to Forest Service: Stop Cutting Down Centuries-old Trees on Grand Canyon’s North Rim
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— The Center for Biological Diversity called on the U.S. Forest Service today to stop cutting down old-growth trees on northern Arizona’s Kaibab Plateau, an antiquated practice that worsens climate change, increases wildfire risk and damages forest ecosystems. In recent months commercial logging companies have felled hundreds of ancient, yellow-barked ponderosa pines on the Grand Canyon’s North Rim.Read more.
Lawsuit Launched to Protect Endangered Fish From Drilling, Fracking in Nevada
LAS VEGAS— The Center for Biological Diversity issued a formal notice today of its intent to sue the Bureau of Land Management for failing to protect the endangered Railroad Valley springfish from oil drilling and fracking in central Nevada.Read more.
Trump Administration Refuses to Address Significant Flaws in Greater Sage-grouse Plans
BOISE, Idaho— The Bureau of Land Management announced Monday that it is standing by its 2019 greater sage grouse land-use plans for seven western states, making no changes to the plans after reanalyzing them in supplemental environmental impact statements.Read more.
Groups Challenge Trump Administration’s Sale of 58,000 Acres for Drilling in Montana, North Dakota
GREAT FALLS, Mont.— A coalition of groups today challenged five Bureau of Land Management oil and gas lease sales encompassing 112 parcels and 58,297 acres of federal public lands in Montana and North Dakota. The lawsuit claims the agency failed to fully assess the potential harm oil and gas extraction would have on the area’s groundwater and ignored cumulative climate impacts.Read more.
Lawsuit Launched Over Trump Plan to Accelerate Clearcutting, Herbicide Spraying, Fuel Breaks Across Six Western States
RENO, Nev.— Conservation groups filed formal notice today of their intent to sue the Trump administration for violations of the Endangered Species Act stemming from two last-minute decisions authorizing widespread clearcutting, herbicide spraying, grazing, plowing and prescribed fire across 223 million acres of Bureau of Land Management public lands in the Great Basin.Read more.
Instan a México a oponerse al muro de Trump y ayudar a restaurar los recursos naturales y culturales
CIUDAD DE MÉXICO— Grupos conservacionistas mexicanos, científicos y los líderes tradicionales O'odham de México instaron hoy al gobierno mexicano a oponerse a que se siga construyendo el muro fronterizo, condenar la destrucción ambiental y trabajar con la administración Biden para reabrir los corredores de vida silvestre cortados por el muro de Trump.Read more.
Letter Urges Mexico to Oppose Trump’s Wall, Help Restore Natural, Cultural Resources
MEXICO CITY— Mexican conservation groups, scientists and the Traditional O’odham Leaders of Mexico today urged the Mexican government to oppose further border-wall construction, condemn the wall’s environmental destruction, and work with the Biden administration to reopen wildlife corridors severed by Trump’s wall.Read more.
Scientists, Conservation Groups, Politicians Urge Biden Administration to Immediately Protect Tiehm’s Buckwheat
LAS VEGAS— More than 100 scientists, 15 conservation and botany groups, and three prominent Nevada politicians urged the incoming Biden administration today to immediately protect the rare wildflower Tiehm’s buckwheat under the Endangered Species Act.Read more.
Trump Administration Rushes to Trade Sacred Oak Flat to Rio Tinto for Massive Arizona Copper Mine
TUCSON, Ariz.— The U.S. Forest Service has announced it will release a final version of its environmental analysis of the proposed Resolution Copper Project and Land Exchange on Jan. 15, a year ahead of schedule. The proposed mine site is on Apache sacred ground in the Tonto National Forest in central Arizona.Read more.
Legal Agreement Blocks Fracking on 53 Oil Leases, Requires Climate Review for Management of 2 Million Acres in Colorado
DENVER— Conservation groups finalized an agreement with the Bureau of Land Management today that blocks drilling on more than 45,000 acres of oil and gas leases until officials revise land-management plans governing approximately 2 million acres of public lands in western Colorado.Read more.
Report: Cattle Destroying Threatened Frog Habitat in Four Arizona Forests
TUCSON, Ariz.— Cattle have caused immense damage to critical habitat designated to help threatened Chiricahua leopard frogs recover throughout four national forests in Arizona, based on field surveys by the Center for Biological Diversity that show few sites still support frogs.Read more.
Lawsuit Challenges Trump Administration Decision to Gut Tongass National Forest Protections
JUNEAU, Alaska— A wide-ranging coalition of Indigenous communities from Southeast Alaska, businesses and conservation organizations filed a lawsuit today targeting the Trump administration’s rollback of the federal Roadless Rule that protected the 17 million-acre Tongass National Forest, sometimes called America’s Amazon.Read more.
Court Blocks Drilling Set to Begin in Newly Designated Utah Wilderness
WASHINGTON— A federal judge today enjoined the Trump administration’s approval of a plan to punch a helium well into the heart of the Labyrinth Canyon Wilderness in Utah just two days before Christmas. Road construction was set to begin Wednesday.Read more.
Lawsuit Challenges Large Fossil Fuel Project Proposed in Alaska’s Arctic
ANCHORAGE, Alaska— Conservation groups filed a lawsuit today challenging a massive oil and gas project known as the Willow Master Development Plan in Alaska’s Western Arctic. Earthjustice, a nonprofit environmental law firm, sued the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on behalf of the Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace.Read more.
Lawsuit Challenges Trump Administration Permitting for Helium Drilling in Newly Designated Utah Wilderness
WASHINGTON— Conservation groups have sued the Bureau of Land Management to challenge its illegal leasing of 1,400 acres for helium extraction within the newly designated Labyrinth Canyon Wilderness in southeastern Utah. The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, Natural Resources Defense Council, Center for Biological Diversity and Living Rivers filed suit Monday in federal district court.Read more.
New Documents: New Mexico Rancher Who Pleaded Guilty to Bludgeoning Endangered Wolf Admitted Trapping, Beating One More
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz.— New documents obtained by the Center for Biological Diversity show that a New Mexico rancher confessed to trapping and beating at least one other endangered Mexican gray wolf in 2015. In 2018 rancher Craig Thiessen pleaded guilty to brutalizing a wolf he had trapped in violation of the Endangered Species Act.Read more.
Lawsuit Filed to Stop New Oil Well, Pipeline in California’s Carrizo Plain National Monument
BAKERSFIELD, Calif.― Conservation groups today sued the Trump administration to reverse its approval of what would be the first new oil well and pipeline in Carrizo Plain National Monument since it was established in 2001.Read more.
500 Groups Urge Biden to Order Fossil Fuel Leasing Ban
WASHINGTON— Hundreds of conservation, Native American, religious and business groups today sent President-elect Joe Biden text for a proposed executive order to ban new fossil fuel leasing and permitting on federal public lands and waters.Read more.
Federal Judge Rejects Approval of Federal Oil, Gas Leases in Utah
SALT LAKE CITY— A federal judge overturned the Trump administration’s plan to lease more than 60,000 acres of public land for fracking in northern Utah’s Uintah Basin, including areas near Dinosaur National Monument, ruling that the Bureau of Land Management violated the law by refusing to consider alternatives to leasing all 59 parcels.Read more.
Trump Revives Climate-hostile Tar Sands Push in Utah
SALT LAKE CITY— The Trump administration pushed forward today with leasing tar sands across 2,100 acres of public lands in northeastern Utah near the Green River, updating a plan from 2013 just weeks before leaving office. Producing fuel from tar sands generates up to twice the climate pollution and requires vastly more water than doing so from conventional oil.Read more.
Final Defense Bill Denies Military Request to Expand Nevada Bombing Ranges
LAS VEGAS— Congress today moved to deny the Defense Department’s request to seize more than 1.7 million acres of public land in Nevada for bombing ranges, following a five-year grassroots campaign by public lands advocates to stop the land grab.Read more.
Lawsuit Targets Feds’ Failure to Protect Endangered Mount Graham Red Squirrel Habitat
TUCSON, Ariz.— The Center for Biological Diversity and Maricopa Audubon sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today for failing to protect habitat essential to the survival and recovery of southeast Arizona’s highly endangered Mount Graham red squirrels.Read more.
Trump Administration Recycles Slashing of Sage-grouse Protections, Opening Habitat to Drilling, Fracking Across Seven Western States
WASHINGTONꟷ The Trump administration unveiled its final analysis today to justify its 2019 land-management plans that slashed protections for the imperiled greater sage grouse across 51 million acres of the western United States.Read more.
Legal Protest Blasts Trump Administration Plan for 47,000 Acres of Fracking Leases in Colorado
DENVER— Conservation groups filed a protest today challenging the Trump administration’s plan to auction fracking leases across more than 47,000 acres of public lands in Colorado. Fracking those leases would destroy habitat for a tenuous population of greater sage grouse, worsen deadly air pollution in the Denver metro area and cause up to 1.2 million tons of climate pollution.Read more.
Utah Rejects Massive Water Grab Threatening Utah's Green River, Endangered Fish
SALT LAKE CITY— Following legal protests from the Center for Biological Diversity and dozens of other non-governmental and governmental organizations, Utah’s state engineer last night rejected a water-rights application from Water Horse Resources to pump nearly 18 billion gallons of water each year from Utah’s Green River over the Rocky Mountains to Colorado’s Front Range.Read more.
Legal Protest Challenges Trump Administration Plan to Clearcut Old-growth Forest, Grizzly Habitat in Northwest Montana
YAAK, Mont.ꟷ Conservation groups filed a legal protest late Friday challenging a massive logging project that would clearcut thousands of acres, including old growth trees, and threaten an imperiled population of grizzly bears and protected Canada lynx habitat on the Montana-Canada border under the guise of restoration.Read more.
Legal Protest Blasts Plan for 430 Square Miles of Fracking Leases in Wyoming
DENVER— Citing harm to wildlife, clean air and the climate, conservation groups filed a legal protest over the weekend challenging a Trump administration plan approving the sale of fracking leases on 275,000 acres of public lands in Wyoming. Fracking those leases would destroy habitat for greater sage-grouse, worsen air quality and cause up to 43 million tons of climate pollution — as much as a coal-fired power plant emits in 11 years.Read more.
Feds Plan Drilling Project in Utah’s Labyrinth Canyon Wilderness
MOAB, Utah— The Bureau of Land Management released a plan last week allowing helium exploration and development in the recently designated Labyrinth Canyon Wilderness. The public has until Nov. 4 to comment on the impacts of this industrial development on lands set aside for permanent protection.Read more.
Federal Appeals Court Blocks Coal-mining Construction in Protected Roadless Forest in Colorado
DENVER— A federal appeals court today blocked construction for a coal-mine expansion in the Sunset roadless area of Colorado’s Gunnison National Forest. The injunction from the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals prevents Mountain Coal, a subsidiary of Arch Resources, from further destruction of the roadless forest at the base of Mount Gunnison in the West Elk Mountains until a challenge from conservation groups is resolved.Read more.
Lawsuit Challenges Pendley Over 1.7 Million-Acre Fossil Fuel Plan in Colorado
DENVER— Climate groups filed new legal claims today challenging the federal government’s 1.7 million-acre resource-management plan to expand fossil fuel development in southwestern Colorado, saying it should be overturned because it was approved during William Perry Pendley’s unlawful tenure directing the Bureau of Land Management.Read more.
Judge Denies Motion, Opening Door to Lawsuits Challenging Pendley Decisions Spanning 30 Million Acres of Public Land
HELENA, Mont.— A federal judge denied a motion from conservation groups today to support a lawsuit involving William Perry Pendley’s unlawful tenure as acting director of the Bureau of Land Monument, opening the door to new lawsuits challenging Pendley’s decisions on land management plans and other policies. The plans allow fossil fuel extraction, mining and other industrialization across millions of acres of public lands in 11 states, including within the former boundaries of Utah’s Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument.Read more.
Nevada Sen. Cortez Masto Proposes Massive Public Lands Seizure for Bombing Range, Development
RENO, Nev.— Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) has proposed legislation to transfer approximately half a million acres of public land to the U.S. Navy to expand the Fallon Naval Air Station bombing range in central Nevada. The bill, to be wrapped into the National Defense Authorization Act, would also sell or give away hundreds of thousands of acres of public land for development.Read more.
Lawsuit Seeks Documents Tied to Cover-up of Groundwater Pumping at Arizona Army Base
TUCSON― The Center for Biological Diversity sued the U.S. Army, Fort Huachuca and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today for failing to release public records relating to the base’s coverup of a 2010 report showing groundwater pumping was harming the San Pedro River. The lawsuit also seeks documents related to the base’s new attempt to thwart river and endangered species protections.Read more.
Lawsuit Aims to Compel Fish and Wildlife Service to Protect Bi-state Sage Grouse
SAN FRANCISCO― Conservation groups sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today for failing to protect the imperiled bi-state sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act despite ongoing population declines.Read more.
Lawsuit Seeks Emergency Protections for Rare Nevada Wildflower
LAS VEGAS— The Center for Biological Diversity sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Bureau of Land Management today seeking protection for the rare Nevada wildflower Tiehm’s buckwheat.Read more.
U.S. Forest Service Plan Guts Protections, Allows Clearcut Logging of Old-growth Trees in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest
WASHINGTON— The U.S. Forest Service announced a final plan today to eliminate roadless-rule protections in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, opening vast swaths of irreplaceable old-growth temperate rainforest to clearcut logging.Read more.
Colorado Agency Caves to U.S. Forest Service, OKs More Bulldozing of Roadless Forest
DENVER— Conservation groups urged a federal court today to halt further construction in a protected roadless area of the Gunnison National Forest. Today’s motion for expedited consideration came after Colorado officials modified an order late yesterday to no longer prevent Mountain Coal Company from using an illegally bulldozed road and carving more drill pads into the roadless area.Read more.
Lawsuit Seeks to Protect Arizona’s Verde River From Ravages of Illegal Grazing
PHOENIX― The Center for Biological Diversity and Maricopa Audubon sued the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today to stop widespread damage from cattle grazing along the Verde River, its tributaries and streambanks.Read more.
Lawsuit Launched to Seek New Critical Habitat for Endangered Mount Graham Red Squirrels
TUCSON, Ariz.— The Center for Biological Diversity and Maricopa Audubon today filed a notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to expand critical habitat for Arizona’s highly endangered Mount Graham red squirrels.Read more.
More Than 17,000 Rare Nevada Wildflowers Destroyed
LAS VEGAS— Conservationists discovered over the weekend that someone had dug up and destroyed more than 17,000 Tiehm’s buckwheat plants, a rare Nevada wildflower the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said this summer may warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act.Read more.
Trump Administration Launches New Assault on Alaska’s Tongass Old-growth Forest
JUNEAU, Alaska— The Trump administration announced plans today for a massive timber sale that would destroy more than 5,100 acres of critical old-growth habitat in the Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska.Read more.
SEC Complaint Charges Misleading Claims by Australian Company Over Nevada Mine
LAS VEGAS— The Center for Biological Diversity filed a complaint with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission today asserting that the Australian mining company Ioneer provided materially misleading statements to investors.Read more.
Forest Service Plan Would Fast-track Fracking on National Forests, Grasslands
WASHINGTON— The U.S. Forest Service released a proposal today that would fast-track fracking and drilling across the country’s 192 million acres of national forests and grasslands.Read more.
Lawsuit Targets Forest Service Failure to Protect Endangered Mouse, Streamside Meadow Areas in New Mexico’s Sacramento Mountains
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— The Center for Biological Diversity sued the U.S. Forest Service today to challenge its failure to protect streamside meadows in New Mexico’s Sacramento Mountains from cattle. The areas are critical habitat for the endangered New Mexico meadow jumping mouse.Read more.
Lawsuit: Trump Administration’s Massive Powder River Basin Coal Plan Violates Court Order
GREAT FALLS, Mont.— Conservation groups sued the Trump administration today to challenge a massive Powder River Basin coal-mining plan the groups say ignores alternatives to coal, oil and gas leasing and fails to publicly acknowledge the harms from coal combustion, violating federal law and a 2018 court order.Read more.
Lawsuit Targets Trump Administration Fossil Fuel Plan in Colorado ‘Climate Hot Spot’
DENVER— Climate groups sued the Trump administration today over its plan to expand drilling, fracking and mining across 1.7 million acres of public lands in southwestern Colorado, one of the fastest-warming regions in the nation.Read more.
Company Puts Massive Nevada Gold Mine Expansion on Hold
RENO, Nev.— Nevada Gold Mines has temporarily suspended plans to expand the Long Canyon Mine in northeast Nevada and says it will conduct hydrologic studies to address concerns that the expansion would dry up nearby springs.Read more.
Lawsuit Challenges Mining Permits Near Boundary Waters Wilderness in Minnesota
WASHINGTON— Conservation groups sued the Trump administration today over its decision to renew 13 prospecting permits that could allow Twin Metals to significantly expand its proposed sulfide-ore copper mine at the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota.Read more.
Feinstein-Daines Wildfire Bill Would Evade Environmental Laws, Compromise Community Protection
WASHINGTON― Sens. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Steve Daines (R-Mont.) introduced legislation yesterday that would fast-track unsustainable logging, increase wildfire risk and jeopardize community safety. The measure stands in stark contrast to sensible, science-based legislation sponsored by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), which would help communities in fire-prone areas without backcountry logging.Read more.
Lawsuit Challenges Nearly $28 Million in Public Funding for Utah Oil Railway
SALT LAKE CITY― Conservation groups sued the Utah Permanent Community Impact Fund Board today for granting $27.9 million in public money to a proposed railway that would move oil from the Uinta Basin to refineries in other states.Read more.
Lawsuit Challenges Trump Administration’s Approval of Mining Road Through Alaska National Park
ANCHORAGE, Alaska— Nine groups sued the Trump administration today to challenge its approval of a commercial gravel road that would destroy, degrade and pollute Arctic land and water and threaten the health of wildlife and people across a broad region of Alaska’s southern Brooks Range.Read more.
Feds Urged to Deny Third Arizona Pumped-storage Project Threatening Humpback Chub, Little Colorado River
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz.— The Center for Biological Diversity urged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission today to deny a preliminary permit application for a massive water-pumping project on the Little Colorado River, which provides water for one of the West’s most endangered fish.Read more.
Legal Petition Urges U.S. Forest Service to Protect Native Bees, Stop Rubber-stamping Commercial Beehives on Federal Lands
WASHINGTON— Conservation groups filed a formal legal petition today urging the U.S. Forest Service to stop allowing the placement of hundreds of commercial honeybee hives on national forest lands without proper environmental review.Read more.
Lawsuit Challenges Trump Administration’s Order Opening Public Lands to Coal Leasing
GREAT FALLS, Mont.— A coalition of states, conservation organizations and the Northern Cheyenne Tribe launched a new challenge today to the Trump administration’s decision to open millions of acres of public land to new coal leasing and mining.Read more.
Federal Court Rejects Trump Administration Cancellation of Methane Pollution Rule
SAN FRANCISCO― A federal judge late yesterday reinstated the Bureau of Land Management’s 2016 methane waste rule, aimed at protecting people and the climate from methane waste and pollution from oil and gas extraction on public lands. The ruling is the third defeat for the Trump administration’s efforts to suspend, delay or repeal the rule.Read more.
Endangered Species Protections Sought for Rare Wolf in Southeast Alaska
SITKA, Alaska— The Center for Biological Diversity, Alaska Rainforest Defenders and Defenders of Wildlife petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today to give Endangered Species Act protections to the Alexander Archipelago wolf in Southeast Alaska.Read more.
Lawsuit Filed to Ensure Water for Rare Nevada Fish
LAS VEGAS— The Center for Biological Diversity sued the Nevada state engineer today for allowing groundwater pumping that reduces spring flows and endangers the rare Moapa dace.Read more.
Lawsuit Launched to Protect Endangered Wildlife in California Redwood Forest
GUALALA, Calif.— Conservation groups today filed a formal notice of intent to sue the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and a timber company for failing to protect threatened and endangered fish, birds and frogs from a redwood logging project near northern California’s Gualala River.Read more.
Understanding Protects Endangered Owls From Arizona, New Mexico Forest Projects
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz.— A new understanding will ensure that a pending lawsuit is dropped and that forest thinning projects in six national forests in Arizona and New Mexico will better protect endangered Mexican spotted owls.Read more.
California Coastal Commission Orders Oceano Dunes to Remain Closed to Vehicles to Protect Nesting Shorebirds
OCEANO, Calif.— The California Coastal Commission has ordered State Parks officials to keep significant portions of Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area closed to vehicles and camping through the end of September to protect western snowy plovers.Read more.
Nevada Court Protects Bi-state Sage Grouse From Off-road Vehicles
RENO, Nev.ꟷ In a decisive win for bi-state sage grouse, the Nevada District Court today denied off-roaders’ attempts to gut protections for the imperiled bird in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.Read more.
Prescott National Forest Withdraws Approval of Hassayampa River Gold Mine
PRESCOTT, Ariz.— The Prescott National Forest today withdrew its decision to proceed with a controversial mine, the River Bend Placer Mine project, on the Hassayampa River. The withdrawal comes after the Center for Biological Diversity delivered a forceful objection to the project’s impacts on the globally imperiled Phillip’s agave (Agave phillipsiana), a rare plant domesticated by Native Americans centuries ago and farmed by them on the site of the mine between 500 and 1,000 years ago.Read more.
House Democrats Set to Give 850,000 Acres of Nevada Wildlife Refuge to Military
LAS VEGAS — In a stunning development in the ongoing controversy over proposed military bombing range expansion in Nevada, the Democrat-led House Armed Services Committee today approved an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would give the U.S. Air Force jurisdiction over 850,000 acres currently managed as a wildlife refuge.Read more.
Trump Administration Abandons Hammond Ranches Appeal in Reprieve for Oregon Wildlife, Public Lands
PORTLAND, Ore.— Livestock grazing won’t be allowed this year on four eastern Oregon allotments formerly grazed by Hammond Ranches. The Trump administration recently abandoned its appeal of a 2019 court ruling overturning then-Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s decision to renew the father and son’s grazing permit.Read more.
Lawsuit Launched to Compel Trump Administration to Protect Bi-state Sage Grouse
SAN FRANCISCO― Conservation groups filed a formal notice today of their intent to sue the Trump administration for failing to protect an imperiled bird, the bi-state sage grouse, under the Endangered Species Act despite ongoing population declines.Read more.
Nevada Takes Important Step to Protect Endangered Fish
LAS VEGAS, Nev.— The Nevada state engineer today restricted groundwater pumping from a remote desert groundwater basin, throwing a lifeline to an endangered fish and crippling plans for a sprawling planned community 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas.Read more.
Trump Administration Plan to Graze 24 Million Acres in Nevada Could Worsen Wildfire Risk
RENO, Nev.― The Trump administration wants to allow intensive livestock grazing on 24 million acres of public land in Nevada ― roughly 10% of Bureau of Land Management land ― in an effort to reduce wildfire risk, despite studies that show grazing increases fuel for fires.Read more.
Lawsuit Filed to Force Trump Administration to Protect Arizona’s Mount Graham Red Squirrel From Extinction
TUCSON, Ariz.— Conservation groups sued the Trump administration Wednesday to force two federal agencies to comply with the Endangered Species Act and protect the imperiled Mount Graham red squirrel in southeastern Arizona from extinction.Read more.
Court Rejects Trump Administration’s Illegal Land Swap to Bulldoze Alaska’s Izembek National Wildlife Refuge
ANCHORAGE, Alaska― A federal court late Monday shut down the Interior Department’s second attempt at an illegal land exchange with the King Cove Corporation to put a road through vital protected wetlands in Izembek National Wildlife Refuge.Read more.
Appeal Targets Mining Permits Near Boundary Waters Wilderness in Minnesota
DULUTH, Minn.— Conservation groups today challenged the Trump administration’s decision to renew 13 prospecting permits that could allow Twin Metals to expand its proposed sulfide-ore copper mine at the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, in northeastern Minnesota.Read more.
Trump Administration Again OKs Oil Drilling in California’s Carrizo Plain National Monument
BAKERSFIELD, Calif.― On the eve of a holiday weekend and during a global pandemic, the Trump administration last week approved a new oil well and pipeline in Carrizo Plain National Monument. It would be the first well drilled in the monument since it was established in 2001.Read more.
Decades-long Campaign Forces Nevada Board to Kill Huge Las Vegas Groundwater Pipeline
LAS VEGAS— A 31-year struggle to stop a massive groundwater pipeline development came to a stunning conclusion today when the Southern Nevada Water Authority board voted to terminate permitting and end its pursuit of the project.Read more.
Nevada Urged to Protect Rare Wildflower As Mine Permitting Ramps Up
LAS VEGAS— Ten conservation groups and a renowned botanist urged the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources today to immediately review whether the imperiled Tiehm’s buckwheat wildflower should be protected under state law. The department agreed to protect it more than six months ago.Read more.
Trump’s Border Wall Would End Jaguar Recovery, Bulldoze Sky Island Mountains
TUCSON, Ariz,— The Trump administration’s latest border wall plan, which would wall off the last jaguar migration paths and bulldoze Arizona’s Sky Island mountains, has drawn opposition from thousands of people across the country.Read more.
Lawsuit Targets Arch Coal’s Illegal Air Pollution at Colorado Coal Mine
DENVER— Conservation groups sued Arch Coal today over illegal pollution at the company’s West Elk coal mine in western Colorado. The mine is the single-largest industrial source of methane pollution in the state.Read more.
Objections Filed Over Massive National Forest Logging, Road-building Project in Wyoming
LARAMIE, Wyo.— Conservation groups filed official objections Monday that challenge one of the largest logging and road-building projects in Wyoming’s history, the Landscape Analysis Vegetation, or LaVA, project on the Medicine Bow National Forest in southern Wyoming.Read more.
Lawsuit Challenges Trump Administration’s $7.2 Billion Transfer for Border Wall Construction
WASHINGTON — Conservation groups today sued the Trump administration for taking $7.2 billion from the Department of Defense for border wall construction without congressional approval. The planned barriers will wall off all remaining jaguar corridors along the U.S.-Mexico border.Read more.
Forest Service Trims Colorado Logging Project After Conservation Groups Object
GUNNISON, Colo.— The U.S. Forest Service trimmed more than 9,000 acres from a timber management project in the Gunnison National Forest after conservation groups objected to the proposal and the agency admitted that its analysis of the additional acres failed to comply with the law.Read more.
Lawsuit Targets Toxic Copper Mine Threatening Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Wilderness
WASHINGTON― Conservation groups sued the Trump administration today over its May 2019 renewal of two mineral leases that pave the way for a massive copper mine at the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northeastern Minnesota.Read more.
Utah Oil Industry Asks Governor for Bailout in Midst of Pandemic
SALT LAKE CITY― The Utah Petroleum Association is asking Utah Gov. Gary Herbert to lift public health protections and financial requirements for the oil and gas industry because of the pandemic, according to a letter released today by the Center for Biological Diversity.Read more.
New Drone Footage Shows Damage From Trump’s Wall in Remote Arizona Wildlands
TUCSON, Ariz.— New drone footage shows border-wall construction blasting through a wildlife refuge and mountain range in one of the most remote regions of the United States, along a Mexican UNESCO biosphere reserve. The footage was taken by the Center for Biological Diversity.Read more.
Trump Working Group Calls for Uranium Industry Handout, Slashing Laws, Public-lands Protections
WASHINGTON— President Trump’s Nuclear Fuel Working Group today recommended that the government purchase domestically mined uranium, slash environmental laws and regulations, and lift public-lands protections to bolster sagging uranium mining industry. Those public lands protections include bans on uranium mining near Grand Canyon National Park and other public lands.Read more.
New Mexico Delegation Must Support People, Oppose Big Oil Bailout
SANTA FE, N.M.— Indigenous, community and conservation groups called on New Mexico’s congressional delegation today to oppose bailing out fossil fuel companies with emergency aid during the coronavirus pandemic.Read more.
Nevada Water Officials to Abandon Appeal of Massive Las Vegas Pipeline Project
LAS VEGAS— The Southern Nevada Water Authority announced today it won’t appeal a recent court loss denying water rights for its massive groundwater pipeline development project.Read more.
Alexander Archipelago Wolves Need Urgent Help Following Record Killings in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest
JUNEAU, Alaska― Conservation groups today called on the U.S. Forest Service to take immediate steps to protect Alexander Archipelago wolves on Prince of Wales Island in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest following word that 97 percent of the most recent estimated population was killed this past trapping season.Read more.
State Agency Recommends Advancing Protection for California’s Joshua Trees
SACRAMENTO, Calif.— The California Department of Fish and Wildlife today recommended that western Joshua trees move toward protection under the state’s Endangered Species Act. The action came in response to a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity.Read more.
Trump Administration Plan Expands Fossil Fuel Extraction Across Southwestern Colorado
DENVER― The Trump administration today announced the release of its final plan to expand drilling and fracking and other fossil fuel extraction across southwestern Colorado for the next two decades, threatening organic agriculture, recreation and endangered species while undermining the state’s climate law. It will be published in the Federal Register on Friday.Read more.
Lawsuit Targets Grazing Damage to Arizona’s San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area
TUCSON, Ariz.— Conservation groups sued the Trump administration Tuesday for failing to protect the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area from livestock grazing’s damage.Read more.
Judge Allows Lawsuit Challenging Trump’s Emergency Border Wall Declaration to Proceed
WASHINGTON— A federal judge today blocked the Trump administration’s effort to dismiss a lawsuit filed by conservation groups over the president’s emergency declaration to pay for his border walls.Read more.
Trump Administration Denies Endangered Species Protection to Bi-state Sage Grouse
RENO, Nev.— The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service denied protection today to the highly imperiled bi-state sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act despite ongoing declines in the bird’s population.Read more.
New Border Wall Segments Would End U.S. Jaguar Recovery
TUCSON, Ariz.— The Trump administration’s latest border-wall plan will wall off all remaining jaguar corridors across the U.S.-Mexico border. The Department of Homeland Security announced Monday that it will waive dozens of environmental and public health laws to fast-track border wall construction in Arizona, California and Texas.Read more.
Lawsuit Launched to Protect Arizona’s Verde River From Ravages of Grazing
TUCSON― The Center for Biological Diversity filed notice today of its intent to sue the U.S. Forest Service for allowing livestock to inflict severe, widespread damage on Arizona’s Verde River and its tributaries and streambanks. The livestock grazing violates the Endangered Species Act, Forest Service guidelines, forest-management plans and grazing contracts.Read more.
Court Stalls Fracking Leases in Ohio’s Only National Forest
COLUMBUS, Ohio― A federal judge today stalled oil and gas leasing in Ohio’s Wayne National Forest, ruling that the Trump administration failed to consider threats to public health, endangered species and watersheds before opening more than 40,000 acres of the forest for fracking.Read more.
Lawsuit Aims to Save San Pedro River, Slow Groundwater Pumping Tied to Arizona Military Base
TUCSON, Ariz.― Conservation groups sued the Trump administration today to prevent further damage to Arizona’s San Pedro River and its endangered species from excessive groundwater pumping in the Fort Huachuca area, including nearby Sierra Vista.Read more.
Federal Court Rules Against Massive Old-Growth Rainforest Logging Plan in Alaska
JUNEAU, Alaska― A federal judge today rejected the Trump administration’s enormous commercial timber harvest and road-building plan for Prince of Wales Island in the Tongass National Forest of southeast Alaska.Read more.
Trump Move to Gut NEPA, Bedrock U.S. Environmental Law, Would Slash Protection for Air, Water, Wildlife
WASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity joined hundreds of conservation groups to file formal comments today with the Trump administration opposing its plans to gut the rules that govern the landmark National Environmental Policy Act.Read more.
Seismic Oil Activities in Big Cypress Had Adverse, Degrading Effect, Army Corps Finds
NAPLES, Fla.— The Burnett Oil Company has done extensive damage to “high quality wet prairie and dwarf cypress” forests in the Big Cypress National Preserve during its seismic testing for oil and gas, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said today, in a letter in which it notified the company that future activities would be regulated under the Clean Water Act:Read more.
Appeals Court: Trump Administration Wrongly Opened 5,000 Acres of Colorado Forest to Coal Mining
DENVER— A federal appeals court today ruled that the U.S. Forest Service broke the law by failing to consider an alternative that would protect the Gunnison National Forest’s Pilot Knob area from coal mining. The decision by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals directs the lower court to vacate an exception that allowed the Forest Service to approve coal mining in roadless forests in the Gunnison River’s North Fork.Read more.
Judge Voids Trump Oil and Gas Lease Sales on Nearly 1 Million Acres of Sage Grouse Habitat
BOISE, Idaho― A federal judge today rejected a Trump administration policy to sharply curtail public participation in oil and gas leasing decisions on public lands and voided nearly 1 million acres leased under the policy. The ruling applies to lease sales in greater sage-grouse habitat across 67 million acres in 11 Western states.Read more.
More Than 95 Conservation Groups Oppose Trillion Trees Act
WASHINGTON— More than 95 conservation and climate change groups sent a letter today to the House Natural Resources Committee opposing the Trillion Trees Act, saying the bill would ramp up logging, increase carbon emissions and worsen wildfire risk.Read more.
Wednesday Border Wall Action Planned at Arizona’s Organ Pipe National Monument
LUKEVILLE, Ariz.— Activists will gather Wednesday morning near Monument Hill to protest the Trump administration’s blasting of a sacred mountain to build the border wall through Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, a UNESCO biosphere reserve.Read more.
Analysis: Prescott’s Water Plan Promotes Sprawl, Threatens Arizona’s Upper Verde River
PRESCOTT, Ariz.— A new Center for Biological Diversity analysis shows the city of Prescott’s proposed water policy would accelerate sprawl development and dramatically reduce the upper Verde River’s annual water flow.Read more.
Groups Urge Arizona Sen. McSally to Protect Grand Canyon From Uranium Mining
PHOENIX— The National Congress of American Indians and conservation groups today urged Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) to cosponsor the Grand Canyon Centennial Protection Act, which permanently bans new uranium mining across 1 million acres of public land around Grand Canyon National Park.Read more.
Feds Urged to Deny Permit for 200-foot Dam on San Francisco River on Arizona-New Mexico Border
PHOENIX— Conservation groups and business leaders urged a federal commission today to deny a preliminary permit for a 200-foot-tall dam planned for the San Francisco River at the Arizona-New Mexico border. The San Francisco River Pumped Storage Project, proposed within protected areas of two national forests, would damage or destroy dozens of miles of critical habitat for five endangered species.Read more.
Lawsuit Targets Forest Service Failure to Protect Endangered Mouse, Riparian Areas in Arizona’s White Mountains
TUCSON― Conservation groups filed suit today to protect meadows and streams in eastern Arizona’s White Mountains from cows, horses and elk. The riparian areas are home to the critically endangered New Mexico meadow jumping mouse.Read more.
Utah Coalition to Protest Misuse of Public Money on Fossil Fuel Projects
SALT LAKE CITY― Community advocates will demonstrate Friday outside the Seven County Infrastructure Coalition board meeting to protest the misuse of public funds on fossil fuel projects. Members of the Utah Clean Infrastructure Coalition will also speak at the board meeting.Read more.
Trump Administration Announces New Plans to Slash Sage Grouse Protections in Seven Western States
BOISE, Idaho― The Trump administration announced today that it will release new plans to slash protections for the dwindling greater sage grouse, attempting to satisfy a federal court ruling that blocked its earlier attempt.Read more.
Legal Petition Aims to Protect Wyoming’s Path of the Pronghorn From Massive Drilling Project
CASPER, Wyo.— Conservation groups today filed a legal petition challenging the Trump administration’s plan to allow 3,500 new gas wells in southwestern Wyoming. The massive frack-field expansion could block the ancient Path of the Pronghorn and prevent access to winter ranges that the animals need to survive.Read more.
Judge Overturns Wildlife Agency’s Approval of Rosemont Copper Mine in Arizona
TUCSON, Ariz.— A federal judge today overturned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s approval of a controversial open-pit copper mine in southern Arizona’s Santa Rita Mountains because of threats to jaguars and other endangered species.Read more.
Trump Administration’s Nevada Lease Sale for Oil and Gas on Public Lands Violates Court Order
RENO, Nev.― The Trump administration is violating a judge’s order requiring a 30-day protest period before public lands in sage-grouse habitat are leased out for oil and gas extraction.Read more.
Lawsuit Prompts Suspension of Trump Administration Fracking Leases Threatening Water, Wildlife in Arizona
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz.— The Trump administration has suspended 4,200 acres of oil and gas leases on public land in Arizona’s Little Colorado River Valley as part of a joint motion filed in federal court today.Read more.
Sens. Sanders, Merkley Introduce Bill to Ban Fracking Nationwide
WASHINGTON— Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) introduced legislation today to immediately ban fracking for oil and gas on all federal public lands onshore and offshore. The bill also would forbid any new federal permits for fossil fuel infrastructure such as pipelines, natural gas export terminals and ethane cracker plants.Read more.
Petition Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Overturn Border-wall Waiver Decisions
WASHINGTON— Four conservation groups asked the U.S. Supreme Court today to review federal court rulings that have allowed the Trump administration to waive dozens of environmental, health and safety laws to speed construction of border walls from the Pacific Ocean to the Rio Grande Valley.Read more.
Trump Administration Slashes Protections for Millions of Acres of Streams, Wetlands
WASHINGTON— The Trump administration finalized a plan today to slash Clean Water Act protections for streams, rivers and millions of acres of wetlands, allowing those water bodies to be destroyed or polluted without any meaningful restrictions.Read more.
Tusayan, Developers Begin New Push for Massive Grand Canyon Project
TUSAYAN, Ariz.— An Italian company has tinkered with its years-old plan to build a sprawling development on the doorstep of Grand Canyon National Park. But the mega-project would be just as dangerous to water resources, wildlife and visitors. It would also flood the night skies of one of the nation’s most iconic national parks.Read more.
Lawsuit Challenges Trump Plan to Frack, Drill 1 Million Acres of California Public Lands, Minerals
LOS ANGELES— Conservation groups sued the Trump administration today challenging the last step in the administration’s plan to allow oil drilling and fracking on more than 1 million acres of public lands and minerals in Central California.Read more.
Minnesota Appeals Court Strikes Down PolyMet Copper-sulfide Mine Permit, Orders New Hearing
ST. PAUL, Minn.― The Minnesota Court of Appeals overturned state permits today that would allow PolyMet to construct Minnesota’s first copper-sulfide mine, ordering a new hearing before an administrative law judge.Read more.
Lawsuit Challenges Trump Administration’s Failure to Protect Endangered Species From Livestock on Arizona, New Mexico Waterways
SILVER CITY, N.M.— The Center for Biological Diversity sued the Trump administration today for failing to prevent livestock from damaging southwestern rivers and streams.Read more.
Trump Administration Attacks National Environmental Policy Act on Bedrock Law’s 50th Anniversary
WASHINGTON— The Trump administration will propose this week to gut National Environmental Policy Act rules for conducting environmental reviews of federal activities — changes that will threaten critical safeguards for air, water and wildlife. The proposal will also squelch public participation in federal agency decisions and impose arbitrary time limits on completion of environmental reviews.Read more.
Agreement Protects Rare Nevada Wildflower From Mine Exploration
RENO, Nev.— A Center for Biological Diversity lawsuit against the Trump administration has led to an agreement with an Australian mining company that will temporarily protect the habitat of a rare Nevada wildflower.Read more.
Trump EPA Used ‘Emergency’ Loophole to Approve Pesticides Toxic to Bees on 16 Million Acres in 2019
WASHINGTON— The Environmental Protection Agency reported today that in 2019 it issued so-called “emergency” approvals to spray neonicotinoids — pesticides the agency itself recognizes as “very highly toxic” to bees — onto more than 16 million acres of crops known to attract bees.Read more.
Forest Service Withdraws Logging Project in West Virginia’s Monongahela National Forest to Spare Endangered Fish
ASHEVILLE, N.C.― The U.S. Forest Service this week announced it will withdraw a 2,400-acre logging project in West Virginia’s Monongahela National Forest following objections raised by conservation groups about harm to an endangered fish.Read more.
Court Rejects Trump Administration Renewal of Oregon Ranchers' Grazing Permit
PORTLAND, Ore.— A federal judge today overturned the Trump administration’s renewal of the Hammond Ranches’ livestock-grazing permit. The ruling throws out the ranchers’ permit on four allotments in eastern Oregon until the Bureau of Land Management does a proper environmental analysis.Read more.
Conservation Groups Applaud Senate Launch of Grand Canyon Protection Bill
WASHINGTON― Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) yesterday introduced the Grand Canyon Centennial Protection Act. The bill will make permanent a ban on new uranium mining on about 1 million acres of public land adjacent to Grand Canyon National Park.Read more.
Senate Bill Rebuffs Military Request for Nevada Wildlife Refuge Takeover
LAS VEGAS— Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) introduced legislation today to expand the U.S. Air Force’s Nevada Test and Training Range into the Desert National Wildlife Refuge, but the bill offers a fraction of what the military has requested.Read more.
Lawsuit Launched Over Illegal Air Pollution at Colorado Coal Mine
DENVER— Conservation groups filed a formal notice today of their intent to sue Arch Coal for failing to reduce dangerous pollution at its West Elk mine in western Colorado in violation of the Clean Air Act.Read more.
400,000-plus Blast Trump Administration Plan for Old-growth Clearcutting in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest
JUNEAU, Alaska― More than 400,000 people and dozens of local tribal, government, business and national recreation groups have flooded the U.S. Forest Service with comments opposing its plan to undo safeguards that prevent clearcutting and road building in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest. The comment period ends Tuesday.Read more.
D.C. Judge to Hear Legal Challenge to Trump’s Border-wall Emergency
WASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity will defend its lawsuit Monday challenging President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration to pay for his border wall. The Trump administration is asking a federal judge to dismiss the lawsuit, filed in February with Defenders of Wildlife and Animal Legal Defense Fund.Read more.
Hundreds Expected Saturday at Tucson Border Wall Protest With Rep. Grijalva
TUCSON, Ariz.— Arizona leaders and activists will join U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D.-Ariz.) in Tucson on Saturday to protest President Donald Trump’s border wall. The 30-foot-tall steel bollard wall under construction in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and the San Bernardino National Wildlife Refuge will block wildlife migration, destroy archeological sites and imperil endangered species and protected wilderness.Read more.
Legal Filing Challenges Trump Administration Failure to Halt Fossil Fuel Expansion in 20-year Plan for Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma
HOUSTON— The Center for Biological Diversity is challenging the Trump administration’s plan to expand federal fossil-fuel extraction in Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma. The new resource management plan would allow leasing and extraction of oil and gas on 4.4 million acres of publicly owned lands and minerals and coal extraction on nearly 1.7 million acres.Read more.
Army Report Reveals Military Base’s Harm to San Pedro River Stretches Back to 2003
TUCSON, Ariz.― A previously undisclosed 2010 report commissioned by the U.S. Army showed that groundwater pumping at Fort Huachuca was already causing harm to the San Pedro River and its endangered wildlife in 2003. The report was never given to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which decided in 2014 to approve the base’s groundwater pumping for another decade.Read more.
Groundswell of National Public Opinion Opposes Las Vegas Lands Bill
LAS VEGAS— More than 6,000 people from 47 states have sent letters urging the Clark County Commission and Nevada’s congressional delegation to oppose proposed county legislation that sidesteps bedrock environmental laws and endangers the iconic Mojave desert tortoise.Read more.
Legal Filing Shows Proposed Dams Near Grand Canyon Would Decimate Endangered Fish Habitat
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz.— The Center for Biological Diversity filed motions with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission today urging denial of preliminary permits for two proposed dams on the Little Colorado River near Grand Canyon National Park. The motions include a new analysis showing the projects would destroy or harm all of the river’s critical habitat for the endangered humpback chub.Read more.
Lawsuit Spurs Trump Administration to Suspend 130 Oil, Gas Leases in Utah
SALT LAKE CITY― The Trump administration has pulled 130 oil and gas leases in Utah because the Bureau of Land Management failed to fully analyze greenhouse gas emissions and the potential harm to climate from fossil fuel extraction. It’s the fourth time this year that the agency has suspended leases for drilling and fracking in Utah ― after the leases were sold ― because they violated federal law.Read more.
Ruling Stops Colorado Coal Mine Expansion Threatening Climate, National Forest
DENVER— A federal judge blocked the 2,000-acre expansion of a coal mine in the wildlands of Colorado’s Gunnison National Forest today, ordering the Trump administration to consider limiting methane emissions and address potential harm to water and fish.Read more.
Nevada to Launch Review of Rare Wildflower for Possible Enhanced Protections
CARSON CITY, Nev.— The Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will soon begin reviewing whether to give enhanced protections to the imperiled Tiehm’s buckwheat (Eriogonum tiehmii), a rare Nevada wildflower.Read more.
Court Order Forces Trump Administration to Pull Sage-Grouse Habitat From Nevada Oil Auction
ELY, Nevada― The Bureau of Land Management has pulled 332,247 acres from a Nov. 12 oil and gas lease auction in western Nevada in response to a court order blocking Trump administration plans that gutted protections for greater sage grouse.Read more.
Saturday Protest Planned to Stop Trump’s Wall at Arizona National Monument
LUKEVILLE, Ariz.— Activists will gather Saturday to protest construction of President Donald Trump’s border wall at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. The new 30-foot-tall barrier will block the migration of wildlife, destroy archeological sites, and imperil endangered species and wilderness lands.Read more.
Riverside County Unanimously Rejects Sprawl Development Near Joshua Tree National Park
RIVERSIDE, Calif.― Community groups and environmental organizations applauded the Riverside County Board of Supervisors’ unanimous vote Tuesday to quash plans for a new city of 20,000 residents near Joshua Tree National Park.Read more.
Federal Plan Endangers Recovery for Dwindling Gunnison Sage Grouse in Colorado, Utah
DENVER― Following a major decline in the population of Gunnison sage grouse, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today released a brief, vague draft recovery plan that conservation groups say fails to ensure recovery of the threatened species in Colorado and Utah.Read more.
Trump Bulldozes New Wall Through Wildlife Refuge, Jaguar Country
DOUGLAS, Ariz.— New border-wall construction in southeastern Arizona is imperiling the San Bernardino National Wildlife Refuge, and encroaching into an active jaguar movement corridor where the jaguar known as “Sombra” most likely crossed the border into the United States.Read more.
Trump Plans to Open 1 Million More Acres of California Public Land to Drilling, Fracking
BAKERSFIELD, Calif.— The Trump administration today announced a proposal to open more than 1 million acres of public lands and minerals in central California to oil drilling and fracking. The plan, first floated in draft form in April, would end a more than five-year moratorium on leasing federal public land in the state to oil companies.Read more.
Arizonans Celebrate House Passage of Grand Canyon Centennial Protection Act
PHOENIX― The U.S. House of Representatives today passed the Grand Canyon Centennial Protection Act by an overwhelming margin. The bill is sponsored by House Natural Resources Chairman Raúl M. Grijalva (D.-Ariz.) and cosponsored and supported by Arizona U.S. Reps. Tom O’Halleran, Ruben Gallego, Ann Kirkpatrick and Greg Stanton.Read more.
Lawsuit Aims to Protect Rare Nevada Wildflower From Exploratory Mining
LAS VEGAS— The Center for Biological Diversity sued the Trump administration today to protect the world’s only population of Tiehm’s buckwheat (Eriogonum tiehmii) from harm related to mineral exploration and a proposed open-pit mine.Read more.
Lawsuit Challenges Trump Administration’s California Fracking Plan
SAN FRANCISCO— Conservation groups today sued the Trump administration to challenge its Oct. 4 decision to allow fracking and drilling on 725,500 acres of public lands and mineral estate across California’s Central Coast and the Bay Area.Read more.
Theme for 2019 All Souls Procession: Wildlife Endangered by Border Wall
TUCSON, Ariz.— Jaguars, owls, fish, bats and other endangered species threatened by the border wall in Arizona will be the official theme of the ushers and ambassadors of this year’s 30th annual All Souls Procession on Sunday, Nov. 3.Read more.
Court Blocks Trump Administration Plans to Strip Sage-grouse Protections
BOISE, Idaho— A federal judge today blocked Trump administration plans allowing expanded drilling, mining, livestock grazing and other destructive activities across 51 million acres of greater sage-grouse habitat in seven western states: Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Nevada, California and Oregon.Read more.
Trump Administration Paves Way for Old-growth Clearcutting in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest
JUNEAU, Alaska― The Trump administration announced plans today to gut longstanding protections against logging and road building in the Tongass National Forest, a cherished old-growth temperate rainforest in Southeast Alaska and homelands of the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian people. A coalition that includes Alaska Native people and Alaska-based and national organizations opposes the U.S. Forest Service plan, which comes weeks after revelations that President Trump exerted pressure to allow new clearcutting in the Tongass.Read more.
Endangered Species Protections Sought for Rare Nevada Wildflower Imperiled by Mining
LAS VEGAS— The Center for Biological Diversity submitted an emergency petition to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Monday to protect Tiehm’s buckwheat (Eriogonum tiehmii) under the Endangered Species Act. The plant is threatened by mineral exploration and a proposed open-pit mine.Read more.
Lawsuit Targets Feds’ Failure to Consider Colorado Fracking’s Climate Harm
DENVER— Conservation groups sued the Trump administration today to require an analysis of the climate risk from an oil and gas extraction plan covering nearly a million acres of public lands and minerals in western Colorado. The area surrounds the Bureau of Land Management’s new headquarters.Read more.
Opponents of Proposed Resolution Copper Mine, Land Exchange Hold News Conference Before Public Hearing
QUEEN VALLEY, Ariz.— The Apache Stronghold and allies will deliver public comments Tuesday opposing the Resolution Copper mine, which would destroy a sacred site for the Apache people. The group will hold a news conference before Tuesday’s public hearing, hosted by the U.S. Forest Service to gather public comments on an environmental analysis of the project.Read more.
Lawsuit Seeks to Include Climate Change in Glen Canyon Operations Plan
PRESCOTT, Ariz.— Three environmental groups launched a legal battle this week to force the required examination of climate change science in the federal management of Glen Canyon Dam and the Colorado River.Read more.
Trump’s Forest Service Blasted for Plans to Weaken Protections for Imperiled Greater Sage Grouse
HAILEY, Idaho― Conservation groups submitted formal objections Tuesday to U.S. Forest Service plans that would further weaken greater sage-grouse protections despite plummeting grouse populations in the West.Read more.
New Dam Proposal Would Flood Little Colorado River Gorge Near Grand Canyon
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz.—The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has accepted a preliminary permit application for a 24-story dam spanning the Little Colorado River gorge on the Navajo Nation. The proposed project is located about 6 river miles upstream from the confluence with the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park.Read more.
Federal Appeals Court to Hear Argument on Colorado Coal Mine Expansion
DENVER— The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments Thursday from conservation groups seeking to protect approximately 4,900 acres of the Gunnison National Forest in Colorado from coal mine development.Read more.
Senate Republicans OK More Funding for Trump’s Destructive Border Wall
WASHINGTON— Senate Republicans want to spend $5 billion next year for more border-wall construction. Their 2020 spending bill would fund more than 100 additional miles of border wall without any meaningful review of potential harm to wildlife, the environment or borderland communities.Read more.
Climate Lawsuit Targets 130 Oil Leases on Public Lands in Utah
SALT LAKE CITY— Conservation groups sued the Trump administration today for failing to consider the climate pollution from 130 oil and gas leases spanning 175,500 acres of public lands in Utah.Read more.
Lawsuit Targets Minnesota’s PolyMet Copper-Sulfide Mine Permit
ST. PAUL, Minn.―Conservation groups sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers today to challenge a key water permit authorizing the PolyMet open-pit copper-sulfide mine to move forward. The mine would destroy 1,000 acres of wetlands and more than 1,700 acres of critical wildlife habitat in northern Minnesota's Superior National Forest.Read more.
Conservation Groups Blast Draft Forest Service Rule to Gut Bedrock Environmental Law
WASHINGTON― Conservation and public-interest groups today submitted formal opposition to a proposed Trump administration rule that would fundamentally change long-held environmental practices and allow for the sweeping destruction of national forests across the country.Read more.
Flooding, Pollution Threat Prompts Call for Uranium Mine Closure Near Grand Canyon
GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, Ariz.— Conservation groups called on Arizona officials today to close a uranium mine near Grand Canyon National Park’s South Rim, citing severe and ongoing flooding that threatens to pollute deep aquifers that feed the canyon’s springs. Original mine approvals dismissed flooding as a “remote” possibility.Read more.
Lawsuit Challenges New Trump Administration Land Swap to Bulldoze Alaska’s Izembek National Wildlife Refuge
ANCHORAGE, Alaska— Conservation groups sued the Trump administration today to challenge a land-swap deal with King Cove Corporation aimed at putting a road through the heart of Izembek National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.Read more.
Injunction Sought to Halt Trump’s Wall in Arizona
WASHINGTON— Conservation groups today asked a federal court to block construction of President Donald Trump’s border wall through protected wilderness in Arizona until a judge rules on a pending lawsuit.Read more.
Federal Judge Halts Construction of Rosemont Mine in Arizona
TUCSON, Ariz.— A federal judge today overturned the U.S. Forest Service’s approval of a controversial open-pit copper mine in southern Arizona’s Santa Rita Mountains, citing the agency’s “inherently flawed analysis from the inception of the proposed Rosemont Mine.” The ruling blocks Toronto-based Hudbay Minerals from beginning construction on the proposed $1.9 billion mine in the Coronado National Forest, 30 miles southeast of Tucson.Read more.
Appeal Challenges Trump Administration’s Approval of Nevada Oil Well
RENO, Nev.— Conservation groups today challenged a recently approved oil well in central Nevada, saying the Trump administration’s Bureau of Land Management skirted federal law by failing to conduct a thorough environmental analysis. This is the agency’s first approval of a new oil well in Nevada in almost two years.Read more.
Protest Challenges Trump’s Fossil-fuel Expansion Plan Threatening Southwestern Colorado
DENVER― Conservation groups protested a Trump administration plan today that would expand federal fossil-fuel development in southwestern Colorado, threatening climate, wildlife and recreation. The Uncompahgre Resource Management Plan would allow increased fracking, which will threaten organic agriculture and endangered species and undermine the state’s new climate law.Read more.
Lawsuit Challenges Political Meddling in EPA Public Records Changes
WASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity and the Environmental Integrity Project sued the Trump administration today over sweeping changes to how the Environmental Protection Agency handles public-records requests under the Freedom of Information Act. The EPA’s new rule will take effect Friday.Read more.
Lawsuit Launched to Force Forest Service to Protect Endangered Species, Remove Livestock From Arizona, New Mexico Waterways
SILVER CITY, N.M.— The Center for Biological Diversity filed a notice today of its intent to sue the U.S. Forest Service for allowing livestock to trample southwestern rivers and streams, which destroys wildlife habitat and threatens rare species. The grazing violates the Endangered Species Act and an earlier legal settlement.Read more.
Court Partially Blocks Summer Grazing on Sensitive Oregon Public Lands
PORTLAND, Ore.― Conservation groups today won a partial preliminary injunction blocking summer grazing by Hammond Ranches on one of two public lands allotments with sensitive ecological values. A federal judge ordered reduced grazing with monthly monitoring on the other allotment.Read more.
Appeal Upheld in Challenge to Oil Drilling in California's Carrizo Plain National Monument
BAKERSFIELD, Calif.― The California Bureau of Land Management has agreed with conservation groups that plans for a new oil well and pipeline in Carrizo Plain National Monument failed to comply with federal environmental laws. The July 12 decision, announced today, said the local BLM office must consider potential harm to California condors, other imperiled wildlife and the climate.Read more.
Lawsuit Challenges Fracking Leases Threatening Northern Arizona Groundwater
PHOENIX— Conservation groups sued the Trump administration today for leasing 4,200 acres of public lands for oil and gas extraction in Arizona’s Little Colorado River basin without any new environmental review.Read more.
Lawsuit Challenges Trump Administration’s OK of California Logging That Will Destroy Big Trees, Condor Roosting Sites
LOS ANGELES― Conservation groups sued the Trump administration today to halt a logging project in a roadless area of Los Padres National Forest that would destroy prime habitat for endangered California condors. Because of the project’s remote location, it also would fail to protect communities from wildfires as federal officials have claimed.Read more.
Lawsuit Seeks Court Order to Stop Colorado Coal Mine Expansion Threatening Climate, National Forest
DENVER— Five conservation groups sued the Trump administration late Tuesday and called on a federal judge to block approval of Arch Coal’s West Elk mine expansion, which would invade the wildlands of western Colorado’s Gunnison National Forest.Read more.
Federal Court Orders Environmental Impact Study for California’s Richardson Grove Highway Project
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.— A federal court judge ruled Thursday that Caltrans must do a detailed environmental impact statement on the controversial Richardson Grove highway-widening project. The ruling, in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, follows a May decision that halted the Caltrans project.Read more.
Trump Plan for Southwestern Colorado Pushes Fossil Fuel Expansion, Undermines State’s Climate Law
DENVER― The Trump administration released a resource management plan today that would expand federal fossil fuel development across a huge swath of southwestern Colorado, threatening a growing organic agriculture hub and undermining the state’s new climate law. The federal administration’s plans directly contradict Colorado’s new law calling for steep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, a 50 percent cut by 2030 and a 90 percent reduction by 2050.Read more.
Federal Court Rejects Trump Administration’s Approval of California’s Cadiz Water Pipeline
LOS ANGELES— A federal court today ruled that the Trump administration violated the law when it greenlighted plans to construct a 43-mile-long pipeline through Mojave Trails National Monument and other public land in southern California.Read more.
Trump Administration’s Eastern Colorado Plan Undermines State’s Climate Law, Triples Oil, Gas Pollution
DENVER― The Trump administration today released plans that could sharply increase federal oil and gas production in eastern Colorado, including the Front Range, undermining the state’s new climate law that calls for steep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.Read more.
Lawsuit Seeks Info on Trump Administration Eliminating Environmental Grades
WASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity sued the Environmental Protection Agency today for failing to release public records on why it abruptly stopped issuing public grades on environmental reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act.Read more.
Utah Board OKs $21.4 Million in Public Money for Oil-train Railway
VERNAL, Utah— A Utah board today approved spending $21.4 million in public money for a railway to move oil from the Uinta Basin to refineries in other states, despite concerns that the funding is illegal.Read more.
Groups Blast Plan to Restart Public-lands Coal Leasing
DENVER— Fifty conservation groups sent a letter calling on the Trump administration to restore a 2016 moratorium on new federal coal leasing and plan an orderly and just transition away from coal production on public lands.Read more.
Utah Coalition to Protest Public Financing of Uinta Basin Railway for Oil Trains
VERNAL, Utah― Opponents of the proposed Uinta Basin Railway oil-train project will protest in Vernal Thursday to challenge continued funding of the rail line by Utah’s Permanent Community Impact Fund Board.Read more.
Utahns to Protest Gov. Herbert’s Failure to Halt Oil, Gas Leasing Near Great Salt Lake
SALT LAKE CITY― Opponents of the Trump administration’s plan to auction off nearly 10,000 acres of public land for oil and gas drilling near the Great Salt Lake will rally Tuesday to protest the lease sale outside Gov. Gary Herbert’s office in the Capitol building.Read more.
Court Blocks Contested Oregon Grazing Permits
PORTLAND, Ore.― A federal judge in Oregon today granted conservation groups’ motion to block livestock from using public lands allotments near Burns during the month of June. The temporary restraining order was issued in response to a lawsuit challenging former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s order to reinstate the grazing permits, overriding the 2014 recommendations of the Bureau of Land Management to cancel the permits. The allotments at issue contain important habitat for greater sage grouse and redband trout, and grazing on one of the allotments, Mud Creek, was scheduled to occur later this week.Read more.
Disregarding Climate, Trump Administration Pushes to Re-open Public Lands to Coal Leasing
WASHINGTON— The Trump administration today restarted an effort to reopen public lands to new federal coal leasing. In today’s action, the Interior Department responded to a court order overturning its illegal nixing of a nationwide coal leasing moratorium with a highly abbreviated environmental review.Read more.
Rallies in Bakersfield, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara to Oppose Trump's Oil-leasing Plan for California
BAKERSFIELD, Calif.— Environmental and community groups joined by elected officials will hold rallies this week to blast the Trump administration’s draft plan to open more than a million acres of public land and mineral estate in central California to oil drilling and fracking. The rallies will precede each of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s public hearings in Bakersfield, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara.Read more.
Lawsuit Challenges Trump Administration Approval of Massive Utah Oil Shale Development
BONANZA, Utah— Conservation groups today sued the Trump administration to challenge what would be the nation’s first commercial-scale oil shale mine and processing facility. The lawsuit says officials failed to protect several endangered species when they approved rights-of-way across public lands to provide utilities to the proposed oil shale development.Read more.
Court Order Sought to Stop Rosemont Mine Construction in Arizona
TUCSON, Ariz.— Conservation groups and tribes Wednesday asked a federal court to prevent construction from starting on the Rosemont Copper Mine in southern Arizona until a judge rules on pending lawsuits filed by the parties.Read more.
Report: Trump Fracking Leases Top 1 Gigaton of Potential Climate Pollution in Lower 48
TUCSON, Ariz.— A new Center for Biological Diversity report shows that the Trump administration is dramatically ramping up oil and gas leases, offering nearly 5 million acres of public lands in the lower 48 states ― most of it in Wyoming and Utah. Those leases, offered as scientists warn that fossil fuels should be rapidly phased out, contain 1 gigaton of potential greenhouse gas pollution.Read more.
Trump Administration Waives Laws to Build 100 Miles of Border Wall Across Arizona National Monument, Wildlife Refuges
TUCSON, Ariz.— The Trump administration will waive dozens of environmental and public health laws to speed border-wall construction through federally protected sites in Arizona and California.Read more.
Massive New Mexico Logging Plan Threatens Iconic Owl Stronghold
CLOUDCROFT, N.M.― Conservation groups today called on the U.S. Forest Service to revise plans for large-scale commercial logging in southern New Mexico’s Lincoln National Forest. The logging threatens habitat for the imperiled Mexican spotted owl and New Mexico meadow jumping mouse.Read more.
Lawsuit Targets Trump Administration Renewal of Oregon Ranchers' Grazing Permit
PORTLAND, Ore.― Conservations groups filed suit today challenging former Interior secretary Ryan Zinke’s order to renew grazing permits for Oregon ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond. Zinke’s January 2019 order, one of his last official acts, came despite the Bureau of Land Management’s 2014 decision to cancel the Hammonds’ privilege to graze on public lands following a series of arson fires.Read more.
Trump Finalizes Plan to Open 725,500 Acres of California's Central Coast to Drilling, Fracking
MARINA, Calif.— The Trump administration today finalized a plan to open 725,500 acres of public lands and mineral estate across California’s Central Coast and the Bay Area to new oil and gas drilling. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management plan is an increase of nearly 327,000 acres from the draft proposal prepared under the Obama administration.Read more.
Analysis: Public Overwhelmingly Wants EPA Ban on Wildlife-killing 'Cyanide Bombs'
WASHINGTON— More than 99.9 percent of people commenting on a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposal to reauthorize sodium cyanide in wildlife-killing devices called M-44s support a ban on these “cyanide bombs,” according to an analysis released today.Read more.
Lawsuit Challenges Trump Administration's Massive Old-growth Timber Sale in Alaska National Forest
JUNEAU, Alaska— Eight conservation groups sued the Trump administration today to stop its authorization of the largest logging project in the national forest system in a generation, including thousands of acres of old-growth timber in the Tongass National Forest.Read more.
Federal Court Again Halts Destructive Caltrans Project Through Ancient California Redwoods
SAN FRANCISCO— Conservation groups and Humboldt County residents have won a federal court victory halting Caltrans’ controversial Richardson Grove highway-widening project. The project would needlessly harm ancient redwood trees in California’s iconic Richardson Grove State Park along Highway 101 in Humboldt County. The U.S. District Court in San Francisco struck down the Caltrans plan in a 26-page order issued late Friday afternoon.Read more.