Praise India for Punishing Celebrity Guilty of Illegal Hunting

Target: Pradeep Nandrajog, Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court

Goal: Praise Indian court for protecting wildlife animals and holding illegal hunters accountable.

A famous Bollywood star in India has been sentenced to five years in prison and fined $153 for poaching a species of protected Indian antelope. It is believed that the actor, Salman Khan, and four other actors were present in the car during the incident in 1998, but fled when caught, leaving the dead animals behind. The other actors were found not guilty due to lack of evidence.

Without a special permit, most wildlife species are off limits to hunters in India. Khan was arrested for hunting two antelopes and three other gazelles, and eight years later, he was convicted of killing the antelopes. The charges hung over him for the next decade, but in 2016, he was found not guilty of poaching the gazelles. The allegations first came from a witness who wrote down the vehicle number as it sped away from the scene. In 2018, finally, Khan was found guilty of illegal poaching.

Because of his status and affluence, Khan continues to be showered with affection from his fans. Although he has a history in court for drunken misbehavior, domestic abuse, and a fatal hit-and-run, his male followers empathize with him, claiming that he is only a human male who makes mistakes. This is a toxic attitude, but sentencing him to prison and issuing a fine signals that not even celebrities should walk free if they violate wildlife laws. Sign the petition below to praise the Rajasthan High Court for protecting wildlife and enforcing laws regardless of status.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Chief Justice Nandrajog,

Salman Khan, a famous Bollywood actor, has been sentenced to five years in prison and fined for illegal hunting in 1998. While filming a scene, Khan (and allegedly several other actors) killed the animals, which were then a vulnerable and protected species. While the other actors were acquitted, Khan is going to pay the price for harming wildlife.

Celebrities should not be given a free pass when it comes to following wildlife regulations. Although Khan’s fans still adore him after allegations and instances of domestic abuse, drunken misbehavior, a fatal hit-and-run, and illegal poaching, I am glad that the court is serving justice for wrongly killed animals. I applaud your efforts in enforcing wildlife laws, even for citizens of high social and economic status. With this guilty verdict, India demonstrates that it does not tolerate illegal hunting and will do what it takes to protect wildlife.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Bernard Dupont

Regulate Electronic Waste to Protect Waterways and Public Health

Target: Kepha Ombacho, Kenya’s Director of Public Health

Goal: Create and implement policy to regulate e-waste, protecting environmental and public health.

Kenya generates 44,000 tons of electronic waste (any device that uses a plug or battery) each year, posing great public and environmental health hazards. Electronic waste is a huge problem across the world, with 45 million tons produced in 2016, but in Kenya, this waste is not regulated. This is a growing problem for waterways such as the Nairobi River, where e-waste is dumped and toxins are distributed to agricultural areas. While there are three facilities licensed to handle e-waste, they are all currently running under capacity because of a lack of awareness about the dangers of e-waste and how to dispose of it properly.

A rise in income and a decline in electronics prices have contributed to this problem. Kenya also receives large amounts of e-waste from Europe, which is a common practice for developing countries. Across Southeast Asia, many landfill workers make money from recycling electronic parts or separating precious metals from the plastics. Direct contact with dangerous materials like lead, cadmium, and chromium are associated with developmental and behavioral problems, especially with children. In addition, these toxins accumulate in soil, waterways, and food.

Regulating e-waste has the potential to increase awareness about proper disposal practices not just with electronic waste, but with plastic waste. It also has the potential to turn the conversation to harmful consumer behaviors. Consumers often discard older electronic models when they still work or keep broken ones in their homes without disposing of them properly. Kenya’s government must implement a policy to regulate e-waste before it causes any more damage to the environment and its people. Sign the petition below to urge the Kenya’s director of public health to push for this legislation.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Director Ombacho,

Electronic waste is a huge problem across the world, but it is even more so in Kenya, where 44,000 unregulated tons are produced each year. Because there is no policy regulating e-waste, it is common practice to dump it into waterways, streets, and regular garbage bins. Electronic waste is highly detrimental to human health; it causes developmental and behavioral problems, especially in children. Toxins from e-waste also accumulate in soil, waterways, and food. The Nairobi River is now an awful e-waste dumpsite, and the rest of Kenya’s waterways are affected.

Kenya can make a positive impact on global e-waste by implementing a policy to regulate it. This waste has potential to improve recycling for all types of garbage, such as plastic. It can also help steer the conservation to changing consumer habits, not only regarding proper waste disposal and recycling, but also being mindful of purchasing new electronics when old ones can be repaired or traded in. Although widespread access to electronics may signal social and technological progress, we must ensure that it does not cause environmental degradation and public health deterioration. I hope that you implement a policy to regulate e-waste and help protect environmental and public health.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Sascha Pohflepp

Keep Nuclear Waste Away From Residential Areas

Target: Greg Clark, Minister, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Goal: Abandon plans to build nuclear waste storage facilities near residential areas.

As more nuclear reactors are built, the problem of storage continues to grow. In the UK, Britain is approaching residents of small towns with cash incentives to greenlight geological disposal facilities or underground nuclear waste storage. The process of choosing a suitable site and preparing and storing nuclear waste is highly technical, but still pose significant risks. This leads to a conflict between residents and scientists and those who support nuclear waste storage facilities. Britain has had a history of councils trying to built nuclear waste disposal sites without the consent of the public, which continues to feed mistrust today.

In 2012, residents and the media exposed a plan to build a 4.5 square meter nuclear facility in Northwest England near residential homes. The facility would hold Britain’s highest-levels radioactive waste; the plan was shut down due to public opposition after it was discovered that the plan were kept secret from residents. Now, local towns across Wales and England are being approached with incentives as high as $3.5 million a year to host the storage facilities, which would be built underground through a multi-barrier safety approach. This process includes turning the waste into insoluble glass, encasing them in steel containers  and then sealing them deep underground with cement or clay. The approach provides safety precautions to avoid leakage, but these plans require geological considerations such as water flow. 

While many countries have found areas that are suitable, such as Finland’s granite bedrock off the country’s west coast away from people, Britain is struggling to find appropriate areas. An expert claims that one suitable geological area might be one near the large metropolitan area in London and Oxford, but says he cannot see a facility being built there. 

To protect residents from potential radioactive disasters, we must ensure that storage facilities are thoroughly assessed before any plans begin. Their safety should not be bought through incentives; it is the government’s responsibility to ensure that clean energy does not jeopardize public health. Sign the petition below to ask Britain’s Minister of Business, Energy, and Industrial Energy to help protect the public from radioactive disasters. 

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr.Clark,

Britain is currently trying to find local towns to house nuclear waste. While most of Britain’s waste sits above ground today, underground waste facilities seem like the safest approach, due to a multi-barrier approach that helps prevent leakage. However, Britain is approaching local towns across England and Wales, offering incentives for towns to house radioactive waste, causing conflict between anti and pro nuclear waste storage facilities. 

While underground facilities take safety precautions, there are still risks involved, especially when said facilities are built in proximity to residential areas. These geological sites must be chosen carefully, to ensure that natural conditions do not pose an even higher risk. Finland and Germany provide a positive example of facilities taking into account scientific and political expertise on where the best potential sites are. Britain should follow suit and connect with locals and scientists before beginning projects. 

As Minister of the Britain’s Business, Energy, and Industrial Energy, you have a responsibility to ensure the UK has clean, affordable energy, but also to ensure that nuclear energy processes do not jeopardize public health. I hope that before building any nuclear waste facilities, that you take into account public health and scientific expertise. The public should not have to suffer from radioactive disasters that could have been prevented.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: D5481026

Protect Europe’s Heaviest Flying Bird

Target: Borja Heredia, Head Avian Species Team, UN Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals

Goal: Promote and increase support for organic farming to help protect great bustard populations.

The European great bustard is an endangered species suffering from intensive agriculture and man-made structures. It is an important species because it has the potential to determine the health of an area’s biodiversity. Spain and central Europe house the largest populations of great bustards, but their numbers have been steadily declining in Ukraine and Russia, especially. Poor management and conservation programs, along with intensive agriculture, have negatively affected their numbers in these areas.

Intensive agriculture uses pesticides and fertilizers that kill off insects in open landscapes, where great bustards live. If these lands use toxic chemical inputs, the bird no longer has insects to eat. Great bustards can be used as a flagship species (or symbol) for areas that use less-intensive agriculture. If we focus on protecting the great bustard, the entire health of open landscapes in Europe will also improve.

Another issue great bustards face are structures that obstruct their way, which often result in fatal interactions. Power lines are hazardous, as great bustards fly in low altitudes and cannot see them. Railway cables, wind parks, and roads are also a problem because they are barriers to movement and fragment landscapes.

To restore populations across Europe like they have done in Germany, conservation efforts must be implemented through decreased use of pesticides and fertilizers, leaving fields fallow, and ensuring that the birds have enough resources to support their young. Sign the petition below to urge the UN Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals to promote organic farming to protect the great bustard population.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Heredia,

The UN Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals has the capacity and expertise to help protect endangered animal populations. The European great bustard is one such endangered species–Europe’s heaviest flying bird which has suffered declining populations over the past few decades. Intensive agriculture, which uses pesticides and fertilizers, power lines, roads, and railway cables have all contributed to its decline. However, Germany has shown that with successful conservation efforts and collaboration between various stakeholders, it is possible to restore their populations.

Organic farming, a less intensive form agriculture which typically does not use fertilizers or pesticides and allows time for the fields to recuperate, is one solution to the great bustard’s decline. If the UN promotes organic farming through different campaigns and interventions such as encouraging consumers to purchase organically-farmed produce, and helping farmers adopt more eco-friendly farming practices, we can still save the bird’s populations.

The great bustard can be used as a flagship species for open landscapes across Europe. Intensive agriculture kills off insects and plants, which negatively affects the bird’s resources for survival. If we protect it, we are protecting a whole region, simultaneously. I hope that the UN can devise and implement a campaign to promote organic farming, which can be a part of a bigger conservation effort to save the great bustard. I firmly believe that with collaboration across various stakeholders such as land-owners, farmers, conservationists, and hunters, we can help save the great bustard.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Franceso Veronesi 

Save Wildlife Habitat From Being Turned Into a Golf Course

Target: Catherine McCabe, Acting Commissioner, NJ Department of Environmental Protection

Goal: Help stop destruction of wildlife habitat to make way for a new golf course area.

Liberty National Golf Course in New Jersey is attempting to turn 21 acres of urban wilderness into another part of their course. Caven Point is a critical wildlife habitat zone, and is a rare public natural area. It serves as an educational area for hundreds of children, and as the last beachfront access for taxpayers. Liberty National is offering a “First Tee” program to help underprivileged children of New Jersey, but this is a sloppy attempt at appeasing citizens and conservationists without real care for public well-being.

Leasing the land to Liberty National will only exacerbate exploitation of the environment by the wealthy. This narrative is what has led to environmental degradation, environmental racism, and environmental injustice across the world. New Jersey has a chance to demonstrate that natural areas belong to the public to enjoy, not to companies to profit off of. Liberty National’s owner believes that expanding the golf course will attract more high-profile golf tournaments and boost the regional economy, but this is simply not feasible. The venue is too small to hold large tournaments, and even hosting minor events will not greatly impact the economy.

The New Jersey Department of Environment needs to reject this land lease proposal, and protect the urban wilderness area. Sign the petition below to call on the department to honor and protect its lands from corporate exploitation.

PETITION LETTER

Dear Ms. McCabe,

Liberty National Golf Course is requesting the Department of Environment to lease land in Liberty State Park to expand its golf course. This expansion will see three golf course holes moved to a critical wildlife habitat area, which serves as an outdoor classroom for hundreds of children, and as a public natural area for citizens. Liberty National claims that it will create a program for underprivileged youth in New Jersey on this land, but they already have undeveloped lands where they can make this plan possible.

I hope that you continue to protect state lands from corporate greed, helping steer the hegemony from exploitation to conservation. The New Jersey Department of Environment has a chance to prove that it cares more for its lands and citizens’ well-being than potential economic profit. Although the owner of Liberty National Golf Course claims that this development will attract major golf tournaments, this is not the case.

Three new added golf course holes will not qualify the golf course as a likely host for these tournaments. It is simply too small. The potential economic benefits of hosting more tournaments, even minor ones, are not significant to the regional economy. I urge you to reject the appeal to lease this land. This area should remain open to the public and wildlife, not to a privileged few.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Michael Karas

Save One of the World’s Rarest Trees

Target: Adam H. Putnam, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture

Goal: Allocate more resources to research in order to help save the endangered Florida torreya.

The Florida torreya is the most endangered conifer in North America due to climate change and a fungal pathogen. In the hopes of saving the species, scientists are now using gene-editing to help plant trees that are resistant to the disease. Organizations are attempting to revive the Florida torreya, with more than 800 specimens in gardens, preserving genetic diversity to restore the species in their natural habitat later on. Another method used is assisted migration, where the trees are moved to a more favorable climate. While the Florida torreya once covered vast stretches of land, today, only 0.22 percent of its former population lives.

A fungal pathogen introduced from China during World War II is responsible for the tree’s decline. This is not the first species of tree that has suffered greatly from fungal pathogens, but this time, with the help of biotechnology, scientists are able to single out genes that will help fight off the pathogen, creating a new generation of trees. The process is tedious and technical, but it provides a new hope for conservationists.

Environmentalists and scientists grapple with the question of whether or not to save the torreya, which has a limited range and little commercial value; this can be an opportunity to instill environmental stewardship values. Commercial value should not determine whether an endangered species should be saved. Saving this species will help save others facing extinction and will help determine our attitude towards conservation. Sign the petition below to urge the Florida Forest Service to allocate more resources to helping save the Florida torreya.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Putnam,

The Florida torreya is an endangered tree species that is suffering from a fungal pathogen introduced back in World War II. While the species once flourished in Florida, now only 0.22 percent of its population remains. Scientists are cultivating sprouts in various gardens and laboratories across the country in the hopes of restoring its population in the wild. Advances in biotechnology have allowed experts and volunteers to extract fungal pathogen-resistant genes and create a stronger group of trees. Furthermore, conservationists have been performing assisted migration, where they help a species relocate to more favorable climates and circumstances. For the torreya, this means moving up north. Without further action, however, the tree could become extinct within the next 50 years.

Several other trees in the area suffer from the same problems, and massive tree population declines in the West mirror the Florida torreya’s fate. This period in the Earth’s lifetime is characterized by massive die-offs not just of trees, but of many plant species. Many people feel conflicted about how to or if they should determine whether or not an endangered species should be saved. I argue that a species should not be saved based on its commercial value, or anything else.

A species should be saved on the basis that it has a place in an ecosystem, and that we are stewards of the environment more than we are owners of it. I hope that you allocate more funds to research for gene editing in order to save the Florida torreya and many other species like it. Without the Florida Forest Service’s support, the Florida torreya will become extinct in 50 years; this is a critical time where scientists, conservationists, and governments need to act together to achieve a common goal.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Prevent Ecological Suicide in Proposed Canal Project

Target: Prof. Dr. Veysel Eroglu, office holder of the Ministry of Forest and Water Management, Justice and Development Party

Goal: Halt the Istanbul Canal project until further environmental assessments have been executed.

A canal in Turkey slated to be completed by 2023 will potentially displace thousands of people, jeopardize water supplies for the nearby city, and destroy natural water systems. The Istanbul Canal is part of a three-part “crazy project” by the President in Turkey, including a new airport and several bridges to raise Turkey’s GDP. Today, the country is second only to China in the construction industry, which made up 19% of its economic growth in the past year alone.

The President claims that Turkey needs to invest in these projects and in the construction industry because the country produces little else. However, the proposed canal will not raise property values, but will result in an ecological suicide. Environmentalists argue that they have not been consulted about environmental assessments regarding development projects in recent years.

Those who speak out are seen as opposition to the Justice and Development Party. The government does not realize or acknowledge the tremendous environmental consequences that would result from this project. Building the canal means leveling 864 acres of forest, and displacing more than one million people. In addition, water supplies will be greatly affected; the current dam will be uprooted and underground streams and water sources will be disrupted. Furthermore, linking the canal will force two seas to join, but because the waters have different densities, the change in salinity could lead to a chemical odor in the air.

Many pro-environmentalists argue that local institutions no longer have a say in development projects. The government announces a plan and instead of revising it in consultation with experts, it becomes an order that must be followed. Although the construction industry might bring in foreign investment, the Istanbul Canal raises huge environmental concerns that the government is not addressing. Let us try to prevent displacement and water systems destruction and urge the Justice and Development Party to halt construction until proper environmental assessments have been performed.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Eroglu,

The Istanbul Canal, a 30-miles long, and 80-miles deep construction project, will displace thousands of people, destroy water resources, cut through forests, and disrupt natural water systems. In addition, archaeological sites will be destroyed, such as the Yarimburgaz Cave, one of Europe’s oldest settlements. Environmentalists worry about these damages especially because they have not been consulted. Before, environmental assessments and expert consultation were needed before construction projects began, but now the government issues projects as if they were orders.

This is extremely distressing because there is so much at stake. Freshwater sources might be polluted, migration routes might be disrupted, and some fish species might not survive. Of course, these are only some concerns that could be explored with more environmental impact reports.

I understand that the construction industry will bring in foreign investment and help Turkey’s economy flourish, but a short-lived economic upturn does not justify ecological suicide. I hope that before any construction begins, the Justice and Development Party consults experts on sustainable development. I urge you to conduct appropriate and thorough environmental assessments before proceeding with the Istanbul Canal project.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Chris McGrath

Prevent Ocean Dead Zone, Clean Up Animal Farm Waste

Target: Lee Heng Ken, Deputy Director General of the Department of Environment, Malaysia

Goal: Stop animal waste from polluting water and killing fish. 

Untreated pig and chicken farm waste from mainland Valdor, Malaysia spilling into the sea will likely cause jellyfish blooms that will kill off fish. When this untreated waste finds its way into canals and into the sea, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium cause an overgrowth of microscopic plankton, depleting oxygen, causing fish to die off. Because jellyfish need very little oxygen to survive, they thrive. Furthermore, they catch fish larvae and fish numbers cannot stay up to suffice for human consumption.

This area is an urban-rural migration zone that helps relieve congestion on the island, but more and more are complaining about the farms. In an area of 345 acres, there are 43 pig and 57 chicken farms crammed next to each other. The Universiti Sains Malaysia Centre for Marine Coastal Studies have been studying jellyfish populations (which are growing) and water quality since October 2017. Water tested from a canal containing animal waste water contained ammoniacal nitrogen that exceeded a class five (severely polluted) river by 94 times.

Although the farmers are required to adopt closed farming systems by 2019, there must be something done in the meantime. We should not let fisheries die off; there is no telling how or if they will recover if we continue to let untreated animal waste pollute canals and the sea. The Department of Environment should act and enforce stricter regulations now or help the farmers adopt closed farming systems sooner. Urge the department by signing the petition below.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Heng Ken,

Pig and chicken farm waste from mainland Valdor is contributing to potential dead zones in the sea where fish cannot survive, and jellyfish thrive. The nutrients from animal waste cause microscopic plankton to bloom, choking out fish. In addition, jellyfish need little oxygen to survive and catch fish larvae, further diminishing fish populations for human consumption. Fisheries near water waste pathways will suffer, harming livelihoods and the environment.

Malaysia’s centre for coastal studies has been conducting research on jellyfish and water quality. They tested water from canals near the farms and it was 94 times more polluted than a class five (severely polluted) water, according to the Department of Environment standards. A State Environment Committee chairman asserts that they are aware of the issue, and that the area is vital to relieving congestion on the island.

Be that as it may, the state should be doing all it can to prevent this catastrophic event from occurring. Jellyfish populations should not be allowed to increase to the point where fisheries no longer exist. I implore you to enforce stricter regulations on farms in addition to the requirement to adopt closed farming systems by 2019. If possible, you must address the issue of helping farmers reduce water waste pollution, and help them adopt closed farming systems sooner. I hope that you take into account the destructive consequences untreated animal waste can have, and act to protect the environment.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Pxhere

Help Citizens Breathe Clean Air

Target: Becky Keogh, Director of Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality

Goal: Increase awareness around hydrogen sulfide contamination and protect public health.

Citizens in Arkansas are breathing dangerous air. In Crossett, Arkansas, a rotten-egg smell is familiar to its citizens, who regularly breathe in hydrogen sulfide from wastewater near the Georgia-Pacific paper mill. Although reports have demonstrated that hydrogen sulfide air and odor measurements regularly exceed safe limits, the paper mill has not been penalized or charged. Instead, residents face health problems such as eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, poor memory, balance problems, and breathing difficulties. This is especially true for people who suffer from asthma and respiratory problems already.

In the 1990s, the paper mill reached settlements with citizens for being found responsible for corroded air conditioners, swing sets, basketball goals, and other properties. While hydrogen sulfide was not included in the emissions permit for the paper mill, leaving them free of liability, the permit now includes overall hydrogen sulfide released, especially in its wastewater paths. Georgia-Pacific has tried to mitigate its emissions by creating pipes for wastewater instead of letting them flow openly, but this has not reduced emissions.

Over three years of monitoring, Arkansas has released over 25 notices of hydrogen sulfide air measurements exceeding the limit. A complaint was made to the EPA in 2011 followed by site visits, conversations, and investigations, but the situation remains the same. In a predominantly black area with 22.8% of the population living below the poverty line compared to the national average of 12.7%, residents have no other choice but to go on as usual. It is unfair that residents must suffer health problems because a company refuses to find alternative ways to dispose of wastewater. Urge the Arkansas Director of Environmental Quality to increase awareness for this public and environmental health issue, and protect both from pollution.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Ms. Keogh,

Residents in Crossett, Arkansas suffer from health problems due to the hydrogen sulfide released by the Georgia-Pacific paper mill. The steam from dirty wastewater finds its way into their lungs and respiratory systems, inducing problems such as eye, nose, and throat irritation, headaches, poor memory and balance problems, breathing difficulties, dizziness, and sleep problems.

While regular monitoring of hydrogen sulfide levels show that they exceed safe levels, there have been no cases or penalties brought up against Georgia-Pacific. Many people seem skeptical of the residents’ ailments and complains. Nearly a third of the vulnerable community of Crossett lives below the poverty line, compounding even more health problems for many residents.

As the director for the Department of Environmental Quality of Arkansas, you must protect underrepresented communities, especially, from threats such as this. Georgia-Pacific can no longer claim that it is not responsible for hydrogen sulfide emissions or that it has no way of measuring how much it is releasing. Plenty of evidence has shown that they are the 13th biggest producers of hydrogen sulfide of a list of 508 facilities. I hope that you take appropriate action and begin helping these communities by protecting them from unjust environmental hazard exposure.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Nicolaus Czarnecki

Success: Trump Signs Bill to Stop Wall From Destroying Wildlife Refuge

Target: Scott Nicol, co-chairman of the Sierra Club Borderlands

Goal: Celebrate the omission of the Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge from the border wall plans.

Earlier in 2018, we at ForeceChange crafted a petition which our community supported, to stop the Trump administration from continuing with the border wall pilot project that would have destroyed habitats for over 4,000 species at the Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge in Texas. Recently, a spending bill was passed which omitted the refuge from border plans, saving all the species at the refuge. This haven for animals was an easy target because it was federally owned, and the administration could bypass all environmental assessments without considering the many species that called it home, some of which were endangered. 

Although the wall is still being slated to be built, the Santa Ana refuge is exempt. This is a victory for many environmentalists across the nation, and for the community here on ForceChange. Politicizing the issue brought animal and land conservation to the front and helped save thousands of species. These animals would have had their movements restricted and many would have been trapped by the wall, preventing them from migrating. As a result of the bill, there will be no barriers built in Santa Ana.

Many landowners will also feel relief, as they will not be displaced and their properties will not be jeopardized. Over 400 bird species, 450 plant species, butterflies, and the rare Texas cabal palm will be saved. Let’s celebrate this victory by acknowledging that this was made possible by various environmentalists and lobbyists across the nation in person and online. Sign the petition below to share the victory with Scott Nicol, co-chairman of the Sierra Club Borderlands.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Nicol,

You are aware that the President recently signed a spending bill that omitted the Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge from the border wall. There will be no barriers built across the refuge, saving over 400 bird species, 450 plant species, butterflies, and the rare Texas cabal palm from destruction. Homeowners will also rejoice, because they will not be displaced and their properties will be protected.

This milestone was made possible by collaboration and coordination across many different environmental groups and lobbyists throughout the nation. Although the wall is still being built across other areas, the fact that we help saved this wildlife refuge is still something to be celebrated. I hope that you continue to fight for the environment and any injustices that the administration would inflict on our planet. Thank you for all your admirable work.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Eugenio del Bosque Gomez