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The Wild

A wolf in Necedah National Wildlife Refuge.

Back in June, Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe said, “I don’t have second thoughts” about the agency’s proposal to drop Endangered Species Act protections for wolves across most of the United States.

Here are five reasons why Director Ashe, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and President Obama should most definitely think twice about this proposal:

Ichetucknee Spring.

Florida has the largest concentration of fresh water springs on Earth. And, as most of you know, the news coming out of our springs is not good. Years of sewage, fertilizer and manure runoff are tipping the biological apple cart, bringing outbreaks of algae and “No Swimming” signs on springs that have been flowing gin-clear for hundreds of years.

Alyssa Grayson.

There’s something so wonderfully refreshing about the direct and earnest way kids comment on the world around them. They don’t have the snark of so many online personalities, nor the posturing language of the politician always walking the line. Kids are still filled with clear-eyed wonder. Their observations tend to cut straight to the heart of the matter without assumptions and with a natural sense of justice.

Butte Creek, during the Chinook spring-run in 2014.

This year, Earthjustice and California’s Butte Creek received a major assist from an unexpected source. Thanks to Pacific Gas & Electric’s Centerville Powerhouse—which when functioning diverts water from the creek—breaking, the creek is receiving maximum water flows for the first time in decades. The full flows are providing clean, cool water, which will greatly help to reduce stress and mortality of salmon as they travel home to spawn.

Atlantic trawler.

Scientists and fishermen agree that the industrial midwater trawl fleet is taking a toll on many species on the Atlantic Coast. The massive nets of these vessels kill millions of river herring and, increasingly, the juveniles of some commercially important groundfish such as haddock. Unfortunately, an important action to rein in this damage is facing a substantial delay.

A humpback whale with newborn calf.

Which of the following issues do you think is important for the environmental movement?

  1. Protecting marine species, such as whales, dolphins and sea turtles
  2. Investing in a clean energy future and reducing U.S. dependence on fossil fuels
  3. Avoiding unnecessary risk of oil spills in our world’s oceans

Any choice indicates that you may find troubling a recent announcement from the Obama administration. This one’s a doozy—read on.

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