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A Historic Moment
From the Director Kierán Suckling
I’ C B D
this summer with the largest-ever imperiled-species protection agreement in the United States.
After months of touch-and-go negotiations and dramatic legal actions, we reached a landmark deal with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in july that will push 757 species toward Endangered Species Act protection.
our endangered species program spearheaded the negotiations and underlying litigation that brought the Department of the Interior to the table. Seeking to protect America’s 1,000 most-imperiled and least-protected plants and animals, the program worked for a decade to achieve this historic breakthrough. Noah Greenwald, who has been at the Center for 14 years and at the helm of our endangered species program for three years, deserves tremendous credit for persevering so long and with so much success.
The deal will affect species in every corner of the country, from the Pacific walrus in Alaska and the wolverine in the Rockies to the West Coast’s ashy storm petrel and the magnificent array of snails and mollusks that populate streams and wetlands in the Southeast. Many of the species have been waiting for decades, including some 250 on the government’s “candidate” list — where species languish, on average, 20 years without protection until their future is decided.
The agreement didn’t come easy. After months of intensive negotiations with the Fish and Wildlife Service in late 2010 and early 2011, the process broke down. After a secretly struck, weak and unenforceable deal was announced between the government and another group, the Center blocked the deal with swift legal action and got ourselves back to the negotiating table — this time with even more leverage.
The deal addresses one of the biggest threats to imperiled plants and animals: delayed protection. Every time the government puts off a decision on whether a species gets help from the Endangered Species Act, it’s another day lost, when climate change, habitat destruction, human overpopulation, logging, grazing and other threats gain the advantage and species are edged closer to extinction. We now have a concrete schedule for decisions on protection for 757 American species
the largest such agreement ever made.
None of this could have happened without your support, participation and insistence that, on our watch, these rare plants and animals will always have a place to live. It’s a historic moment for our work. We hope you’ll celebrate with us. •
FRoNT CoVER IMAGE: AMERICAN WoLVERINE © BRIAN CALLAHAN/BCS1@WoWWAY.CoM
E n d a n g e r e d e a r t h
is the membership newsletter of the Center for Biological Diversity. With the support of more than 315,000 members and online activists, the Center works through science, law and creative media to secure a future for all species, great or small, hovering on the brink of extinction. Endangered Earth is published three times yearly in January, July and November and printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper with solvent-free vegetable-based inks.
Board of directors Marcey Olajos (Board Chair) Peter Galvin Scott Power Todd Schulke Robin Silver Stephanie Zill
executive director Kierán Suckling
EndangErEd Earth editor Julie Miller, Publications Director
Page design Julie Miller
Photo editing Maria Seiferle, Julie Miller
coPy editing Mike Stark, Lydia Millet, Anna Mirocha
to become a member or give a gift membership, contact us at (866) 357-3349 x. 311 or firstname.lastname@example.org; send a check to Center for Biological Diversity, Membership, P.O. Box 710, Tucson, AZ, 85702-0710; or visit the “Support” page on our secure server: www.BiologicalDiversity.org. Contributions are tax deductible.
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assistant executive director Sarah Bergman
contriButors Tierra Curry, Mollie Matteson,Taylor McKinnon, Lydia Millet, Anna Mirocha, Rebecca Noblin, Mike Stark, Kierán Suckling
CENTER for BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY Because life is good.