Do Not Allow Yellowstone Bison to be Slaughtered

Target: Ryan Zinke, United States Secretary of the Interior

Goal: Do not give in to demands from ranchers to kill herds of bison living in Yellowstone National Park.

Ranchers in Montana and Wyoming have pressured the federal government for years, urging them to kill off wild bison in nearby Yellowstone National Park due to overblown fears of the spread of certain diseases, including Brucellosis. Despite the fact that bison are a native species on the rebound after nearly becoming extinct over a century ago, this fear mongering has led Secretary Ryan Zinke, the head of the U.S. Department of the Interior, to call for the mass slaughter of these creatures.

Yellowstone National Park’s current superintendent, Dan Wenk, claims he is being forced to retire from his position because of his disagreements with Zinke, a Trump-appointed official with a long track record of opposing wildlife conservation. Wenk stands by research conducted by park biologists that suggests that the land can easily support the 4,000 estimated bison currently living there, and that the bison are not causing overgrazing, as Zinke and his staff have claimed.

The case for killing Yellowstone’s bison rests on bad science and a desire to put profits over conservation and the environment. Sign this petition to tell Zinke that the bison in Yellowstone have every right to remain and thrive on this protected land.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Secretary Zinke,

I’m writing to inform you that the National Park Service is not a livestock management program, and should not be treated as such. The 4,000 estimated bison that live in Yellowstone National Park are a part of the natural ecosystem, and should not be removed to satisfy local ranchers.

Your demands that Yellowstone officials, including superintendent Dan Wenk, cull at least 1,000 bison may satisfy the livestock industry, but it is bad for the environment and for the many tourists that visit the park with the hopes of seeing these majestic creatures. If these animals are killed, the only people who will benefit are a handful of ranchers whose operations extend to near the park’s boundaries. We urge you to look at the scientific research for yourself and to not call for this senseless killing of Yellowstone’s bison.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Daniel Mayer

Stop Plastic from Destroying Our Oceans and Ban All Plastic Straws

Target: Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York

Goal: Ban the use of plastic straws in New York City restaurants and other businesses.

While global efforts to cut back on plastic use and promote recycling have been promising, progress is not being made fast enough to save marine species from becoming extinct. New York City lawmakers are now proposing a ban on the use of plastic straws in all restaurants citywide. The time has come to stop allowing these unnecessary products to litter beaches and cause harm to wildlife.

This proposed straw ban follows a failed attempt in New York City to add a five-cent fee on plastic and paper bag use. While the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, has said that he supports banning plastic bags statewide, he has not yet commented on New York’s plans to ban disposable plastic straws. His influence and support could help sway public opinion and make it more likely that this ban will pass.

Plastic straws are wasteful and can be easily replaced with biodegradable ones made from paper or bamboo, or from reusable materials like metal. With the world facing a major catastrophe caused by the glut of plastic filling our oceans, the time to act is now. Help New York City lead the national movement to ban plastic straws and sign the petition below to urge Governor Cuomo to lend his support.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Governor Cuomo,

Plastic straws used in New York City restaurants are contributing to a global catastrophe as oceans become filled with plastic waste that harms wildlife and pollutes the water. Unlike straws made from biodegradable materials like bamboo or paper, plastic straws remain in the environment for many years and break down into smaller pieces that can kill or sicken marine creatures. That is why New York City council member Rafael Espinal is proposing a bill that would ban the use of plastic straws in all restaurants and businesses citywide.

This ban has already gained the support of over 130 local businesses, including many famous restaurants, museums and hotels. What this movement does not yet have, however, is your support and ability to influence public opinion. That is why we urge you to publicly offer your support for this ban and all other efforts to reduce plastic use throughout New York State.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: JnL

Stop Trump’s Trade War From Destroying Solar Power in America

Target: Donald Trump, President of the United States

Goal: Stop all import taxes on solar panels made outside of the U.S. that are crippling the solar industry.

Solar energy companies are cancelling over 2.5 billion dollars’ worth of new large- scale solar projects in the United States as the result of tariffs placed on imported solar panels by the Trump Administration. While most other countries worldwide are looking to expand their solar projects, these import taxes are a sign that Trump is not interested in developing renewable energy, but would rather cling to obsolete and environmentally-damaging fossil fuels like coal and oil.

Solar energy industry leaders and environmentalists had warned President Trump that his proposed tariffs would kill thousands of American jobs and raise prices on solar energy to the point where it would no longer remain competitive. Especially damaging is the fact that efforts to create U.S. solar panel manufacturing jobs have not been able to keep up with the demand and that most panels are still being made overseas.

We must stop this international trade war that is damaging solar power in the U.S. and expand on efforts to increase solar panel manufacturing domestically. Please sign the below petition calling on Trump to lift the tariffs on imported solar panels.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Trump,

I am writing to demand that you stop imposing unnecessary tariffs on imported solar panels. Your trade policy is harmful to both the American economy and the environment, as shown by the over 2.5 billion dollars’ worth of canceled solar projects this year alone. Before these taxes went into effect, solar was posed to become one of the fastest-growing sectors, and could have resulted in thousands of new jobs.

The U.S. cannot afford to hold on to obsolete forms of energy like coal and oil. The world is outpacing us with new advances being made in renewable energy, including solar, at a rapid pace. There will be dire consequences for this country—and potentially the world— unless more is done to expand on solar. That is why I am urging you to lift these tariffs and allow this industry to compete on the global stage for the good of all Americans and for future generations to come.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Oregon Department of Transportation

Prohibit the Trade of the Fins of Endangered Sharks

Target: Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of Hong Kong

Goal: Prohibit all shark fin imports and severely punish all illegal shark fin smugglers.

Hong Kong officials recently came across an over one-ton cargo shipment of illegal shark fins, some of which were discovered to be from endangered whale sharks, the world’s largest species of fish. Unfortunately, this is only the latest such incident of endangered shark fins entering the Chinese territory without a permit, and many fear it is a sign of overall lax regulation and enforcement.

Shark finning by its very nature is a cruel and inhumane practice that involves slicing off the dorsal fins from still-living sharks and tossing the rest of the injured animal overboard to die a slow and painful death. Because shark fins are considered a delicacy in many countries, millions of sharks die this way each year to fuel this lucrative trade.

Hong Kong must stop fueling the shark fin trade that is putting so much of this species at risk of extinction. For too long these animals have died to satisfy human greed. Sign this petition to demand that Hong Kong end all shark fin imports.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Chief Executive Lam,

Recently, a cargo shipment from Singapore Airlines that arrived in Hong Kong was found to contain over a ton of illegal shark fins, including those from endangered whale sharks. This is only the most recent case of illegal shark fin smuggling in your territory, as evidenced by Sea Shepherd’s investigations last year that found that this practice is far too common. It is time that Hong Kong stop its support of this trade that is putting so many shark species at risk of extinction.

While eating shark fin soup is considered a status symbol, the process of shark finning is cruel and wasteful, and results in millions of maimed sharks slowly bleeding to death in the ocean, just to satisfy human greed. As the world’s largest importer of shark fins, Hong Kong is allowing this trade to thrive while over a quarter of the world’s shark species face possible extinction. We demand that you put an end to this wanton killing. Please place an immediate ban on all shark fin imports and severely punish those found guilty of smuggling fins into your region illegally.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: cloneofsnake

Denounce the Slaughter of Over One Hundred Pregnant Whales

Target: Erik Solheim, Head of the United Nations Environmental Programme

Goal: Demand that Japan stop slaughtering vulnerable whales for so-called ‘scientific research.’

Japan has reportedly killed over one hundred pregnant whales, and slaughtered an additional one hundred juvenile whales during its annual whaling activities in the Antarctic. This hunt continues despite international condemnation and the illegality of killing members of these protected species. We must demand that this nation be held accountable for murdering these innocent creatures.

Japanese whaling fleets reportedly killed 333 minke whales in the Southern Ocean of Antarctica. Of these, roughly a third were immature whales and an estimated 120 were pregnant females, or 63 percent of the female whales captured. In apparent disregard for international conservation law, many of these whales were found to have been hunted in waters designated as marine wildlife sanctuaries.

Japan can no longer hide behind the excuse that these killings are done for scientific purposes, especially when much of the meat ends up in supermarkets and upper class restaurants. This so-called ‘biological sampling’ is harmful to whale populations and to the marine ecosystem as a whole. Sign the petition below and urge the United Nations to demand that Japan be held accountable for violating international law with these cruel and unnecessary hunts.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Solheim,

I am writing to express my outrage that Japanese whaling fleets continue to prowl the Antarctic ocean each summer, barbarically harpooning protected species of whales with impunity. Despite strict international laws regarding commercial activity in Antarctic whale sanctuaries, whaling vessels allegedly butchered over one hundred pregnant minke whales and an additional one hundred juveniles, with much of the meat destined for supermarkets and restaurants.

Although Japan claims that these actions are carried out in the name of ‘scientific research’, there is little evidence that any real research is being done, outside of twelve appointed on-board researchers tasked with weighing the organs and inspecting the stomach contents of slaughtered whales. This is nothing more than a thinly veiled excuse to continue commercial whaling, and it is time that the international community demand that it be brought to an end. I urge you to work with the International Court of Justice to ensure that Japan is held accountable for flagrantly violating international law.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Customs and Border Protection Service, Australia

Permanently Stop Construction on Potentially Unstable Pipelines

Target: Gladys M. Brown, Chairperson of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission

Goal: Permanently shut down pipeline construction projects planned by Sunoco Pipeline LP.

Construction along an aging natural gas pipeline route, including the addition of two new connecting pipelines, has stirred controversy due to suspected engineering issues that resulted in numerous sinkholes opening up earlier this year. Pipeline owner Sunoco Pipeline LP want to extend and expand the Mariner East Pipeline that currently runs through several communities in Chester County, Pennsylvania, but administrative judges at the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) have temporarily halted its progress due to these and other environmental concerns.

Sunoco Pipeline LP wants to expand the pipelines and add additional routes so that more of the highly profitable natural gas liquids from the nearby Marcellus and Utica shales can be delivered to terminals where they can then be shipped overseas. Yet regulators say that the current construction efforts have been done with little care, and the potential for environmental disaster beyond the already damaging sinkholes is high.

This pipeline has had a long and troubling history of spills and water contamination ever since its original construction in the 1930s. Any further construction on this route will likely jeopardize the environment and public safety. Sign the petition below to demand that Pennsylvania regulators permanently shut down this dangerous pipeline expansion project.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Chairperson Brown,

I am writing to urge you to put a permanent halt to all further construction along the Mariner East pipeline and to deny future building permits from Sunoco Pipeline LP to extend and expand this dangerous and aging section of Pennsylvania’s infrastructure. This company cannot resume construction without the approval of your commission, so it is vital that you intervene on behalf of the citizens and wildlife that could be impacted by this risky venture that has already caused numerous sinkholes to appear in townships in Chester County.

I ask that you stop allowing Sunoco to jeopardize the safety of Pennsylvanians simply so they can make a profit. Please listen to the concerns of residents and environmental experts alike and shut down this project once and for all.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Beyond Coal & Gas

Stop the Mass Slaughter of Thousands of Mountain Hares

Target: Eileen Stuart, Head of Policy and Advice, Scottish Natural Heritage

Goal: End the legal cull of mountain hares that has allowed sport hunters to kill thousands of animals with little oversight.

Scotland’s mountain hares could be in danger of extinction if estate owners and sport hunters are allowed to continue to kill them by the thousands. Recent reports reveal that over 38,000 hares have died in one year alone, largely on sporting estates. If this practice continues unchecked, it is likely that the time will come when there are no more hares left on the Scottish moors.

Mountain hares, also known as blue hares, are uniquely adapted to the cold climate and harsh terrain of Scotland’s northern reaches. They are known for their striking white winter coats, making them both one of the highlands’ most iconic species and a favored target among sport hunters. Yet the current rate of slaughter may be unsustainable, with as many as 4,000 hares killed at one estate alone, according to recently revealed data.

The Scottish government must intervene and lift the current planned cull that has allowed these hunts to occur in the first place. Sign this petition to urge Scottish Natural Heritage to end this cull and to enforce strict limits on hunting this unique species.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Ms. Stuart,

The legal sport hunting of mountain hares has resulted in the staggering reported loss of over 38,000 animals in just one year. These hares are an iconic highland species that should not be allowed to face extinction just so hunters can skin them and leave them to rot on the moors. Unless the current cull is lifted, there is almost nothing to prevent estate owners and other sport hunters from driving these animals to extinction.

Your own governing body concluded recently that the mountain hares’ population may now be in “unfavourable status.” Despite your recommendations that the Scottish government push for “voluntary restraint” among hunters, it appears that these guidelines have fallen on deaf ears. That is why we are urging you to call for an immediate end to the cull, and to ensure that strict limits are enforced on hunting these hares before it is too late.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: John Johnston

Don’t Allow Hog Farm Waste to Contaminate the Environment

Target: Roy Cooper, Governor of North Carolina

Goal: Stop allowing animal waste from hog farms to cause pollution and pose a potential public health risk.

Untreated pig manure at factory-scale hog operations pose a severe threat to the environment and human health. This was the conclusion reached by a federal jury that awarded $50 million in damages to a handful of people living in close proximity to one such farm found guilty of allowing animal waste to contaminate the surrounding area.

The farm at the center of the recent case is Kinlaw Farm, which is owned by Smithfield, a major player in the pork industry. Like many other hog farms in North Carolina, the farm has several large open-air cesspools, often referred to as ‘lagoons’ where manure produced by the thousands of hogs kept on the property is dumped. Bacteria and toxic gases from these pools can enter the waterway and contribute to air pollution, which can result in major health risks for humans and animals alike.

People and wildlife should not be subjected to this noxious threat that the pork industry and government alike are largely ignoring. Sign the petition below to urge the governor of North Carolina, one of the largest pork-producing states, to tighten waste treatment regulations so that this industry will finally be forced to clean up its act.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Governor Cooper,

Pig waste from major hog farms in your state is causing harm to the environment and people living in rural areas. Most of these people live in poverty, and with nowhere else to go, they have been forced to breathe in noxious gases like ammonia and hydrogen sulfide for years, which can cause a host of severe medical issues.

Untreated pig manure left to sit in open-air cesspools is a serious environmental and human rights issue in your state that must be addressed. Despite intensive lobbying by the pork industry to fight regulations, something must be done to combat this threat to your state’s waterways and overall air quality. That is why we, the undersigned, urge you to put the health and well-being of all North Carolinians first and call for new legislation that will hold hog farm operators responsible for responsibly treating the vast quantities of waste their livestock produce.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Bob Nichols, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Stop the Barbaric Slaughter of Thousands of Kangaroos

Target: Mick Gentleman, Minister for Planning and Land Management of the Australia Capital Territory

Goal: Stop the Australian government from needlessly killing thousands of native kangaroos.

Australian officials have approved the culling of kangaroos in the Australian Capital Territory for yet another year. For the next three months, thousands of the native marsupials will be massacred in an attempt to control their population. Kangaroos are an essential part of Australia’s natural ecosystem and help reduce the risk of damaging brush fires, and therefore must be protected against this needless form of cruelty.

As part of the annual cull, unlicensed hunters are allowed to participate and kill virtually any animals that they find in a variety of inhumane ways, including the clubbing of young kangaroos and their mothers. Additionally, those opposing the cull have faced prosecution, making it difficult for animal rights groups to rally against the ongoing cruelty.

The Australian government must listen to the voices of those who stand against this cull that lacks any scientific basis and results in the suffering and death of thousands of animals. Sign below to demand that officials seek non lethal alternatives to controlling the kangaroo population.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Minister Gentleman,

Each year since 2009, thousands of kangaroos have been ruthlessly killed each year in the Australian Capital Territory as part of a misguided attempt to control their population. While kangaroos are prolific by nature, they are an integral part of the ecosystem and help maintain Australia’s biodiversity while reducing the risk of damaging fires by clearing away excessive brush.

Unless government officials intervene, thousands of kangaroos will be killed in a host of inhumane and cruel ways, including the brutal clubbing of young joeys and their mothers. These native creatures should be allowed to thrive as they have for millennia, not killed in mass numbers to make way for livestock or other human endeavors. If population control is indeed necessary, we urge you to find humane, non lethal alternatives that do not cause harm to one of Australia’s most iconic species.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Bilby Summerhill

EPA: Stop Ignoring Potentially Lethal Air Pollution

Target: Cami Grandinetti, Manager for Remedial Cleanup, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Goal: Perform air quality testing in areas of Washington State that may be exposed to high levels of toxic cadmium, lead and other cancer-causing substances.

Residents living in the Washington town of Northport could be breathing in air contaminated by pollutants, including cancer-causing cadmium, arsenic and other heavy metals, from one of the world’s largest lead and zinc refineries, located just across the border in Canada. Yet because the EPA refuses to test for these substances, the true scope of this threat remains unknown. Protecting American citizens against the harmful effects of pollution is exactly what  this government agency was established to do, and it is time that officials start doing their job.

While the cost of air monitoring in the area for two years is estimated to be roughly $300,000, this pales in comparison to the amount of money that EPA administrator Scott Pruitt has allegedly spent on his own personal comfort, including reportedly spending up to $400,000 on first-class flights and a private soundproof phone booth in his office. The state of Washington should not have to struggle to fund its own testing when such wasteful spending is occurring at the federal level.

American citizens deserve to know about any potential health threats they may be facing from the environment in which they live. Sign the petition below to demand that air monitors be installed along the U.S.-Canadian border in Washington.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Manager Grandinetti,

Recent reports from Washington State’s Department of Ecology have shown the possibility that harmful levels of cadmium, arsenic and other known carcinogens from the Cominco lead smelter in British Columbia could be affecting air quality in the northern part of the state. Despite this fact, the EPA has not done any air quality monitoring in Washington since 2009, and has declined to begin testing in light of this recent evidence.

Heavy metals, such as those suspected of being present in the emissions from the Cominco smelter, could prove life-threatening with long-term exposure, including greatly increasing the chances of developing certain kinds of cancer. Washington State residents deserve to know what public health risk exists, if any, as a result of this exposure. That is why we demand that you begin necessary air quality testing on the U.S.-Canadian border immediately.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: under_volcano