Don’t Put a Price on the Lives of Endangered Species

Target: Greg Sheehan, Principle Deputy Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Goal: Don’t put a price on the protection of endangered species.

Endangered species not deemed “economical” may soon be left for dead. The Trump Administration is proposing changes to the federal Endangered Species Act that would decide the fate of a species based on monetary factors, not scientific ones.

These changes came about after complaints from the logging, mining, and farming industries who argued the Endangered Species Act was making it hard to profitably continue business. This will put gray wolves, whales, and even the bald eagle, our national bird, at risk.

While proponents of these changes say they will give a boost to the economy, what they fail to realize is endangered species actually add economic value to our country by improving land, air, and water quality. Meanwhile, a price can never be placed on the value of living things. Sign the petition to demand that the Trump Administration abandon these plans.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Director Sheehan,

Endangered species may soon be left for dead if they’re not considered “valuable.” Logging, mining, and farming industries feel burdened by “limitations” of the Endangered Species Act and ask that they be lightened to allow for industry to profit.

However, whatever gains are made in industry will quickly be eliminated by the irreparable damage to our land, water, and air. A price cannot be placed on the future of living beings. I demand that you abandon these plans to alter the Endangered Species Act.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Pacific Southwest Region USFW

Man Who Allegedly Started Wildfire Must Face Justice

Target: Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney in Orange County, California

Goal: Prosecute man who reportedly started Southern California wildfires.

A 51-year-old man named Forrest Gordon Clark was charged with arson in Southern California’s wildfires. The man allegedly started a fire in his small residential area, and it has consumed Cleveland National Forest and grown to nearly 10,000 acres and is still far from being contained. This wildfire has required more than 20,000 residents to evacuate their homes, and more than 7,000 homes have been jeopardized.

Clark’s reported involvement in the wildfires created further strain on climate change and deforestation. His alleged actions have hurt the environment, put people’s lives at risk, killed animals and destroyed their homes in the process. Sign this petition and demand that Forrest Gordon Clark face justice for allegedly starting these wildfires.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Rackauckas,

As you know, Forrest Gordon Clark was taken into custody for allegedly starting the wildfires in Southern California. The fire has threatened people, animals, and the environment, causing destruction and panic all over Southern California.

His alleged reckless act has caused destruction to nearly 10,000 acres, and it still is not close to being over. Clark needs to be held accountable for his reported actions. He alleged involvement needs to be severely punished. We demand that Forrest Gordon Clark be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for allegedly starting these wildfires.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: exakta

Phase Out Non-Recyclable Plastics

Target: Andrew R. Wheeler, Acting Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency

Goal: Phase out the use of non-recyclable plastic food packaging worldwide.

Recent studies have shown that only a third of the plastic used to package food can be successfully recycled. The major culprits are microwave meals, which use un-sortable black trays and wrappers, and the packaging for pre-prepared single-serve meals. Many companies are aware of this development, but little progress has yet been made.

While plastic is one of the most useful means of keeping food fresh, it is one of the worst offenders as far as pollution goes. Many wild animals get sick or even die from ingesting tiny bits of plastic as they feed, and many humans may also swallow bits in their drinking water. Additionally, the particles harm flora and agriculture as they prevent nutrients from being absorbed through roots.

We must reduce the amount of plastic pollution as much as humanly possible, for the sake of all living creatures. Sign this petition to demand phasing out the use of non-recyclable plastic packaging by the food industry as soon as possible.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Administrator Wheeler,

Only a small portion of plastic food packaging is recyclable, with the rest going into landfills or breaking down to become part of the soil or water. While plastic is one of the best ways to keep food fresh and safe, the majority of packaging does little else but contribute to the world’s pollution problem. Non-recyclable plastics are swallowed by wildlife, causing sickness and death, and hinder the growth of plants.

Single-serve or microwave meals are among the biggest culprits, as are the punnets for fruit and vegetable packaging; these low-grade plastics are essentially useless beyond their initial function and are dangerous to the environment. You must aid the phase-out of the use of these low-grade, non-recyclable materials as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Hans Braxmeier

Punish Pair Accused of Killing Protected Black Bear and Cubs

Target: Jahna Lindemuth, Attorney General of Alaska

Goal: Punish father and son charged with killing a black bear and her cubs.

Two men charged with killing a protected black bear and her cubs are finally being taken to court, months after the incident. Video footage reportedly showed father and son Andrew and Owen Renning trespassing on a remote bear den; the pair reportedly claimed not to have known that the sow and her cubs were part of an observation program, or that it is illegal to kill black bears in most of Alaska.

Ignorance is no excuse for such alleged actions. Black bears are one of Alaska’s most threatened species to date, especially as the laws for their protection have been challenged multiple times by greedy hunters or even the government. These men allegedly committed a grave injustice against these poor animals; the cubs were reportedly heard screaming as their mother was gunned down, right before they themselves died, all allegedly so two men could attain some form of glory. The bears were skinned after their death; it is unknown whether they were meant to be trophies, or fur or meat to sell on the market.

We must ensure that these men face justice, to set an example for other hunters planning to trespass on protected animals. Sign this petition to demand these men face justice for their alleged slaughter of innocent animals.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Attorney General Lindemuth,

A family of black bears was reportedly slaughtered by a duo of hunters, who allegedly claimed ignorance when told that it was illegal to hunt black bears in Anchorage, Alaska and that these three particular bears were part of an observation program. The duo has been taken to court months after the incident.

Claiming ignorance does not erase the dirty nature of their alleged deed. Black bears are one of the most threatened species in Alaska, especially with their protection laws being challenged as the government tries to revoke them to satisfy trophy hunters and the paranoid stereotype of bears as dangerous predators. These two men must face justice for their alleged slaughter of these creatures, to set an example for other hunters who may ever consider trespassing on protected grounds. We demand the maximum penalty be sought in this case.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: beingmyself

Don’t Open Over 1.6 Million Acres of Land to Fracking

Target: Brian Steed, Deputy Director, Policy and Programs, Bureau of Land Management

Goal: Protect the 1.6 million acres of natural land that are proposed real estate for fracking and drilling companies.

Over 1.6 million acres of natural land in California are at risk of destruction after the Trump Administration moved to open them to dangerous fracking and natural gas drilling. The lands which the government wants to lease to fracking companies are public lands near Fresno and beyond.

Fracking has continuously been proven dangerous by scientists around the world. The practice leads to polluted water and deforestation. Humans and animals have fallen ill. Even earthquakes have taken place around the sites of fracking wells.

Public land should not be auctioned off to the highest corporate bidder. Public lands should be protected and preserved for generations to come. Sign the petition to demand the federal government walk back its plans to open priceless California wild lands to fracking.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Steed,

Over 1.6 million acres of public wild lands are in danger of being destroyed in California. Fracking and gas wells may soon dot the landscape as drinking water is polluted and animals lose their habitats.

Fracking has already destroyed too much of the American landscape. Our nation’s land should not be on sale for the highest bidder. I demand you walk back your plans to destroy California’s landscape for fracking.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Joshua Doubek

Protect Chimp Sanctuary From Dam Flooding

Target: Alpha Condé, President of Guinea

Goal: Stop construction of dam on chimp sanctuary in Guinea.

Guinea’s government is planning the construction of a dam in the same area as a chimp sanctuary the same company supported less than a year ago. The Moyen-Bafing National Park is home to 4,000 chimps, almost half of which will be wiped out by the flooding caused by the dam or driven into the surrounding areas, causing deadly territorial conflicts.

It is cruel for construction projects to force their way into a sanctuary, especially a sanctuary for a genus of primates whose numbers have dropped drastically within the past few years. Flooding and territorial conflicts aside, the construction of this dam will interrupt the lifestyle of the chimps residing in the sanctuary, robbing them of food, habitat, and the peace needed to breed and raise their families.

Western chimpanzees are critically endangered, especially in Guinea, where the healthiest population is 16,500. If this sanctuary is threatened, chimpanzees will go extinct in a matter of years. Sign this petition to protect this sanctuary and the chimps within.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Condé,

Your government’s plans to build a dam in Moyen-Bafing National Park will endanger over 1,000 chimps who call the sanctuary their home, either flooding them to death or forcing them into the surrounding areas and causing deadly territorial conflicts. This sanctuary is meant to be a safe haven for many species of chimp, which are critically endangered in Guinea and need a chance to rebuild their numbers safely.

Do not let the government build this dam. World Bank, the company who initially supported the plans, is now calling for a moratorium on the project, but the plans have yet to be cancelled. It is unethical to rob innocent chimps of their home for the sake of construction. You must cancel this project immediately or demand the government find elsewhere to go ahead with it, somewhere that will not harm animals or wildlife.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Sergio Morchon

Trump: Give Aid to California Regions Battered by Wildfires

Target: Donald Trump, President of the United States

Goal: Save the lands and the inhabitants devastated by California wildfires.

Recent wildfires in California have destroyed neighborhoods, claimed at least eight lives, and ravaged lands that include parts of one of America’s most popular national parks. As the 17-and-counting wildfires continue to leave destruction in their wake, America’s federal government remains largely silent. California’s governor recently issued a plea for critical aid from the Trump administration, yet so far these pleas have been ignored.

Perhaps the most dangerous of the many blazes has already seared forests and surrounding neighborhoods that cover an expanse five times as big as nearby San Francisco. Efforts to contain these unforgiving fires are hindered by soaring temperatures, high winds, and low-humidity conditions. This catastrophic blend has meant only one-quarter containment in the most challenged regions.

The devastating impacts will likely linger long after the last fire is extinguished. Just as with the human tragedies, plants and wildlife will be lost forever. Native plants battered by unrelenting fires may never make a truly full recovery, and could even be supplanted by invasive plants. Worse still, the vulnerable wildlife that rely on this vegetation for sustenance will suffer in the long term as well. Diminished air and water quality will only compound these risks.

The unrelenting natural disasters show no signs of abating. Sign this petition to demand American leadership take action before more plant, animal, and human lives are lost.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Trump,

Two weeks: over 1,000 homes, eight lives (including four firefighters), hundreds of square miles…all obliterated by California’s 17 raging wildfires. In this past weekend alone, the amount of acres claimed by these disasters grew by the thousands—one blaze even creating a ‘fire tornado.’

Two weeks: continued calls for emergency response aid from a state leader, and zero response from America’s federal leadership.

As California’s citizens—American citizens—continue to flee their homes, pick up the pieces of their shattered lives, and attend another funeral for another fallen hero, show the country you care about its precious lands and all its precious life.

Send aid—more importantly, send unwavering support—today.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: BLM

Trump: Do Not Lift Ban on Bee-Killing Pesticides

Target: Donald Trump, President of the United States

Goal: Stop the Trump administration from lifting ban on pesticides linked to the declining bee population.

An Obama-era ban on pesticides has been lifted by the Trump administration, endangering the already at-risk bee population even further. Neonicotinoid pesticides, which are banned in the United Kingdom, were once outlawed in the United States as well, but are now being allowed “to ensure adequate forage for migratory birds” such as ducks and geese. The move also aids farming practices via the use of GMOs consistently found in neonicotinoids.

This move could wipe out the bee population for good if not stopped immediately, leading to the breakdown of the ecosystem. Bees are pollinators, responsible for spreading seeds across the land and aiding in the growth of plants and trees worldwide; without them, flora growth will suffer a harsh loss. Worse, the use of these lethal pesticides and crops modified to contain them will negatively effect human consumption of foods such as corn and soybeans, which are among the most genetically modified plants on earth.

We cannot allow the complete destruction of all bee life in the United States. Sign this petition to demand the Trump administration replace the ban on neonicotinoids immediately.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. President,

Your administration’s rollback of the neonicotinoid ban is dangerous and unethical. These pesticides are toxic to all living beings, but especially to the already endangered bee population. Bees are highly important to the ecosystem due to their roles as pollinators; without them, we will suffer a great loss of important trees and flora.

The excuse that hunters and farmers need these toxic chemicals is unacceptable. Not only is excessive hunting of wildfowl illegal in the United States, but the farming industry does not need a boost the way wildlife does. You cannot put the entire planet’s bees at risk to help hunters and farmers make a larger profit. Put the neonicotinoids ban back in place immediately.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Marciej-A Czyzewski

End the Trend of Killing Polar Bears for Tourism’s Sake

Target: Ellen Hambro, Director General of the Norwegian Environment Agency

Goal: Protest the killing of a polar bear defending its home.

A man suffered serious injury and was near-death, while a critically endangered animal lost its life. This is the latest legacy from unneeded, dangerous tourism practices in the Arctic. Now, the one snapshot tourists of a German cruise ship will likely remember will not be an image of beautiful mountains, snow, and tundra. Rather, the lasting picture from this excursion will be the bloodied carcass of a polar bear shot by the sea.

The tragedy unfolded when a German-based Hapag-Lloyd Cruises ship took tourists to a group of islands near the North Pole–islands  often dubbed an ‘Arctic fairy tale’ for their wondrous scenery. Fairy tale would soon turn to genuine nightmare, however, when polar bear guards (individuals meant to block a harmful encounter with the native bears) disembarked ahead of the tour group. After a bear spotted one of the guards encroaching on its habitat, it allegedly charged at the man and wounded him. The other guards had allegedly tried other methods to scare away the polar bear before tragically resorting to deadly force.

While this incident may have been unavoidable in the moment, the true outrage lies in such a potentially deadly and dangerous situation being allowed in the first place. Scientists have long warned that climate change, melting ice, and subsequent changes in food supplies are essentially forcing polar bears into territories where human encounters and aggression levels are higher. Officials in these regions post plentiful warnings about the dangers of polar bear encounters, but they still enable, and even seemingly encourage, reckless tourist intrusions.

Sign this petition to demand those responsible for preserving these picturesque lands put protection ahead of profit and curb activities that will facilitate more slaughter.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Director General Hambro,

A polar bear mauls a camping man in the back, dragging him away from friends. Another bear attacks an ‘adventurer’ group. The German cruise line employees who allegedly shot an attacking bear likely had similar flashes of doom streaking through their minds when they took deadly action.

Who put them in this position, caught between killing a critically endangered animal or saving the life of one of their own? When you sanction so much tourist activity in these wildlands, do you think about he individuals killed and maimed, or the many more polar bears that have faced a sudden death in the past few decades? Do you consider how each of these ‘necessary’ deaths diminishes just a little more a population that even now exists only in the low thousands?

If these questions have plagued you, or do plague you now in the wake of the most recent tragedy, please take action. Reevaluate the tourism policies that are further endangering a cherished native creature already driven from its habitat by climate change and human inaction.

Save the polar bears. Save lives.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Flickr Favorites

Save Baby Orca From Death by Starvation

Target: Barry Thorn, Regional Administrator of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries West Coast Region

Goal: Take emergency measures to save an emaciated juvenile from a highly endangered orca population.

Researchers fear that a young orca from a particularly endangered group of killer whales may only have days to live unless emergency measures are taken to feed and provide her with potentially life-saving medicine. The four-year-old identified as J50, or ‘Scarlet,’ is one of only a handful of juveniles left within the declining Southern Resident Orca population, who are struggling to find enough food to eat in the waters off the coast of Washington.

The crisis Scarlet is facing is only the latest evidence that Southern Resident Orcas need our help. As Scarlet clings to life, another member of this endangered population has gained worldwide attention for carrying her deceased newborn calf around for over a week in an act of apparent mourning.

U.S. government officials cannot simply stand by and watch when action can be taken to save Scarlet and other ailing whales like her. Scarlet needs food and life-saving medicine delivered to her immediately. Sign this petition to call for an emergency plan to intervene on this young whale’s behalf.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Regional Administrator Thorn,

A young whale in the Southern Resident Orca population is showing clear signs of distress. J50, also known as Scarlet, is dangerously emaciated and is estimated to only have days left to live unless something is done. We must intervene and take measures to save her life to help protect this declining group of whales.

We ask that you devote resources to assessing her current condition to see what can be done to improve her health as non-invasively as possible, including delivering food and medicine as needed. Long-term measures to protect the Chinook salmon stock that these whales depend on must be looked at as well, but for now we ask that you coordinate an emergency response to save this young whale before it is too late. With every remaining life precious and necessary to the future survival of this iconic orca population, we urge you to do all you can to save her from a cruel, slow death.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: rebuildingdemocracy