Protect Threatened Martens From Extinction

Target: Valerie Termini, Executive Director of the California Fish and Game Commission

Goal: Get the dwindling population of Humboldt martens on the endangered species list.

Deforestation in California due to logging, development, and cannabis cultivation has led to significant habitat loss for the Humboldt marten. This adorable mammal has declined in population so significantly that it was thought at one point to be extinct. Fewer than 400 are estimated to remain in California and Oregon, yet the Humboldt marten has not been classified as endangered nor afforded the protections that come with that classification.

The Humboldt marten is a small weasel-like relative of the mink residing in the mature forests of northern California and southern Oregon. Only four isolated populations remain, each with fewer than 100 martens. This is largely due to the threats to the Humboldt marten’s habitat. Fragmentation or loss of habitat for the martens has resulted from significant deforestation from logging operations, road development, and cannabis grows. The martens also contend with toxic exposure to pesticides used in marijuana growing, vehicular traffic and potential collisions, and larger predators such as bobcats.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has recommended an endangered species classification for this dwindling population, but it is the California Fish and Game Commission that must make this determination. Protections under an endangered species designation would begin immediately and include more stringent environmental review of development in Humboldt marten habitats. California must begin action now to prevent further habitat loss and threats to the marten population. Sign the petition to urge the commission to list this species as endangered and get the Humboldt martens the protection they need.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Ms. Termini,

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has recommended endangered species status for the Humboldt marten. With fewer than 400 Humboldt martens remaining in the wild, it seems like a no-brainer for the California Fish and Game Commission to make this determination. California needs to take action soon on this dwindling population or risk losing the Humboldt martens forever.

Deforestation from logging, cannabis farming, and other development has severely threatened the Humboldt marten’s forested habitat. Scientists estimate that less than 5% of their historical range remains. Even though trapping is illegal, these small mammals are still threatened by this habitat fragmentation, vehicular collisions, and predators. They even face exposure to toxic pesticides from cannabis farming.

Federal protections for the Humboldt marten are nowhere in sight. Even if the species were to be considered for federal protections, the process is so lengthy that to date, scientists estimate that 42 species have gone extinct waiting on the candidate list for an endangered designation. Even then, the current administration is unlikely to take regulatory action in protecting this threatened species. Although the California considers this animal a “species of concern,” this comes with no regulatory protections. California needs to act immediately to protect the Humboldt marten from extinction. Place the Humboldt marten on the endangered species list immediately.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Neil McIntosh

Ban Iconic African Animal Trophies in California

Target: Edward Garcia, Chair of the Assembly Water, Parks, & Wildlife Committee

Goal: Protect African wildlife by passing The Iconic African Species Protection Act.

A vitally important animal welfare bill that will help fight trophy hunting and protect innocent wildlife from being cruelly killed for their body parts to be sold has advanced to the floor in California, and must be passed into law. SB 1487, The Iconic African Species Protection Act, was introduced by Senator Stern. It is a critical piece of legislation in a wave of forward motion for animal welfare in California, but it needs public support to ensure its passage and the continuance of this positive momentum.

The bill protects iconic African wildlife by banning the possession of their body parts. This discourages trophy hunting, and also sends a message regarding the priorities and values of the state. Among the animals protected by the bill are African elephant, African lion, leopard, giraffe, hippopotamus, striped hyena, and multiple species of rhinoceros and zebra. These animals must be preserved, not thoughtlessly killed for profit, and California can pave the way for the rest of America to no longer be complacent and complicit. Sign below to demand the passage of The Iconic African Species Protection Act.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Chairman Garcia,

The Iconic African Species Protection Act (SB 1487) is a critical piece of legislation in the battle for animal welfare and wildlife preservation. By banning the possession of animal parts, SB 1487 demonstrates the importance of compassion, humanity, and the future of our world—which must be prioritized over the cruelty and profits of trophy hunting.

Animals like lions, leopards, giraffes, zebras and many more are dying out, but this legislation can help protect them and ensure that they remain alive for future generations. By banning possession of any body part of these animals and others in California, trophy hunting is discouraged and California maintains its momentum and leadership in the fight for animal rights. I urge you to ensure that The Iconic African Species Protection Act (SB 1487) is passed into law.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Belinda Cave

Protect Napa Valley from Environmental Degradation

Target: Ivan Menezes, CEO of Diageo

Goal: Urge companies in Napa Valley not to overexploit the land.

Wine industry experts like Warren Winiarski are calling for limitations in Napa Valley, California over environmental concerns. In 1976, his Stag’s Leap Winery won top honors at a blind tasting in Paris that transformed the Napa region into a global wine contender. Since then, he has become one of many residents and local business owners concerned about the area’s gradual ecological decline. The problem: former rich oak woodlands are being converted into labyrinths of vines. Fewer trees mean less oxygen, less replenished groundwater, and more chances for soil erosion. Today the question persists: has Napa Valley reached its agricultural limit?

To raise awareness about these environmental concerns, there’s an ongoing local initiative called Measure C. The committee’s goal is to put a cap on the amount of oak tress to be cleared for the development of future vineyards. Currently there are approximately 500 wineries in the valley, which is only 30 miles long, five miles wide, and one of California’s most beloved natural treasures. Many of these companies are foreign-owned and seeking profits at all costs. Sign the petition to urge one of the largest enterprises in the area (though based in the U.K.) to respect the finite resources of Napa Valley.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Menezes,

As you’re probably well aware, there’s a growing movement in Napa Valley to preserve the integrity of the former landscape. Prior to the influx of vineyards over 30 years ago, this region was full of biodiversity, with plentiful livestock and fruit trees. Now the monoculture of grapes has taken over and augmented further deforestation, resulting in ninety-five percent of local oaks being cut down and replaced with grapes. Considering that developers aspire to expand operations in nearby hillsides, please commit yourself to preserving the last vestiges of the original terrain.

These woodlands play a vital role in Napa Valley’s ecology. What remains of the once-thriving oak forest serves an essential role in the valley’s watershed. Don’t allow the pursuit of power and wealth overshadow the importance of protecting natural resources like water and healthy soil. The reality of the situation is that more than a third of the remaining trees rest on fertile grounds that vineyard enterprises like yourself want to capitalize on. It’s estimated that by 2030, approximately 3,065 more acres will have disappeared due to the growing wine industry. We aren’t demanding your company go out of business, just that it embrace responsible farming. Know your limitations.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Tony Webster

Praise California For Passing Landmark Water Use Bill

Target: California Governor Jerry Brown

Goal: Congratulate California on passing landmark legislation that regulates water usage to prevent further droughts.

California is geared up to pass some landmark legislation that would be a first in the United States. California is about to pass two pieces of legislation that limit egregious water usage, creates a framework to record how the water is used, limits how water is distributed, and creates protections to ensure that a statewide drought is less of a threat. The legislation also includes plans to create a system of data that breaks down efficiency, clarity, and overall quality of California’s water suppliers.

Laws like this are what helps states keep track of their water and how their energy is stored and distributed, allowing them to stay accountable to the needs of the state residents. If more bills like this passed across the country, there would be a far less likely chance of a future crisis when water supplies are threatened by climate change. Sign the petition below to commend the State of California for passing such important legislation.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Gov. Brown,

The people of the United States and beyond thank you for being a champion of clean, accessible water. The State of California has made a huge decision to regulate the water usage in a way that should be seen across the country. If we didn’t have laws such as this in place, our water supplies could be easily exploited.

Thank you for allowing such important legislation to make it to your desk for signing. The State of California and beyond appreciates how hard you’ve worked to restore the water supply to the people.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Devin Cook

Stop Trump Donor From Grabbing Ownership of Yosemite Away From American People

Target: Donald Trump
Goal: Denounce your donor for grabbing iconic places like “Yosemite National Park” and “Half Dome” away from the American people.

Trump donor Jeremy Jacobs, who is the owner of the billion dollar concessions corporation Delaware North, is leading a charge to wrestle ownership of iconic Yosemite names, such as Curry Village, Ahwahnee Lodge, Wawona Hotel, Half Dome, and even Yosemite National Park itself, away from the American people. This greedy corporate owner and Trump backer is sour that his lucrative contract to sell food and services at the national park was not renewed by the Obama Administration, and has responded with a scorched earth strategy that is attempting to assert ownership over the park’s most iconic names.

Delaware North’s greed does not just effect Yosemite National Park, as they also have government contracts to provide services at other parks, including Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, Olympic, Kings Canyon, Sequoia, and Shenandoah. The idea that a private for-profit company could own and control the names of some of America’s most iconic public places is outrageous and must be opposed.

Trump’s silence to date speaks volumes. Just because a rich billionaire gave Trump a big donation, does not entitle that fat cat to grab the people’s most treasured landmarks. Demand Donald Trump denounce this donor for his greedy attempts to wrestle iconic American names away from the people.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Donald Trump,

Your donor Jeremy Jacobs, who controls Delaware North corporation, is suing the United States in order to wrestle control of iconic place names, like “Half Dome” and even “Yosemite National Park” away from the American people. So far you have remained silent on this attempted heist of the public trust.

Just because someone gives you money, doesn’t mean they should be immune from accountability. Delaware North lost their concession to provide services at Yosemite, and they should have walked away with honor, rather than sour grapes. As a politician who received a large sum of money from Delaware North’s owner, you have a responsibility to speak out.

Sincerely,
[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Lyel Ritter