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"AZFO Birders at San Pedro River, Gray Hawk Ranch" William Herron/CC BY-SA 2.0

From the air, the San Pedro River looks like a green ribbon winding through the brown desert landscape east of Tucson, Arizona. For millions of birds, the river’s water and cottonwood and willow tree canopy are lifesavers during their migration. Nearly 45 percent of all North American bird species use the San Pedro at some point in their lives.

Berta Cáceres on the banks of the Gualcarque River in the Rio Blanco region of western Honduras. / Goldman Environmental Prize

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In the early hours of March 3, 2016, gunmen forcibly entered a home where Berta Cáceres, a well-known Honduran indigenous and land rights defender, was staying in La Esperanza, Honduras, and brutally murdered her. Cáceres’ inspirational leadership created and sustained one of the country’s most powerful grassroots social and environmental justice movements. Her murder, though shocking and devastating, was not surprising.

Cabinet Mountains by Scott Butner

The Cabinet Mountains Wilderness in northwest Montana, which has received a high level of conservation protection since the 1930s, is facing an imminent threat. The Montanore copper and silver mine project would require blasting miles of tunnels beneath this expanse of glaciated peaks, transforming the pristine landscape into a large-scale industrial mining site. Despite scientific evidence that the mine will degrade streams and cause harm to endangered species in the wilderness area, the U.S.


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