Stop National Parks Service from Erasing Climate Change Evidence

Target: Mike Reynolds, Acting Director of National Park Service

Goal: Stop the National Park Service from erasing any mention of human impact on climate change in official guidebooks.

The National Park Service has erased any mention of human impact on climate change in a long-awaited memo detailing the effects of climate change on rising sea levels. The erasure of this information means that there will be no accountability moving forward when we discuss the causes of climate change. Erasing humans’ role in climate change is akin to saying you don’t need a driver to operate a car.

The move is another in a long line of actions by the Trump administration to categorically reject climate sciences as being valid. The more we reject science, the further away we move from progress. Sign the petition below to demand history remain intact.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Reynolds,

The notion that humans had nothing to do with climate change is absolutely ludicrous and insulting to the scientific community at large. Your denial of basic facts is troubling to the American people and leads us to not being able to trust you in your current position.

The leader of the Parks Service should be dedicated to the welfare of the environment and those who seek to enjoy it, so why risk the natural beauty of our country? We the people demand that you step back and return all mentions of human involvement in climate change to Parks Service materials.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Shenandoah National Park

Stop Trophy Hunters from Hunting Giraffes to Extinction

Target: Greg Sheehan, Acting Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Goal: Ban the import of all giraffe hunting trophies into the United States.

The world’s tallest animal is in danger of vanishing thanks to the greed of trophy hunters. Over the past 30 years, the sub-Saharan African giraffe population has plummeted by nearly half, as foreign hunters, many from the United States, have hunted the majestic creatures for their spotted skins or simply for the bragging rights. Experts warn that unless trophy hunters are prevented from bringing coveted giraffe trophies back to the United States, all giraffes may face a “silent extinction.”

Over the past decade, it is believed that American trophy hunters have brought back over 21,000 giraffe bone carvings, roughly 3,000 skin pieces and thousands of other miscellaneous hunting ‘souvenirs.’ Each trophy represents a part of a once-living animal and attests to the fact that American hunters have slaughtered thousands of these creatures needlessly. Yet the United States government has failed to recognize the giraffe’s plight, as none of the nine subspecies of giraffe are currently considered endangered.

Giraffes are unique inhabitants of African savannas and woodlands that deserve to have a future in the wild. Please sign this petition to demand that the United States stop allowing trophy hunters to drive them to extinction.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Sheehan,

The giraffe is one of the world’s most recognizable mammals and one of Africa’s most iconic species. Yet as beloved as these creatures are, they are at grave risk of extinction thanks to trophy hunters, many of whom are traveling from the United States with the hopes of bringing back hunting souvenirs, including skins and bone pieces. Giraffes are being killed at unsustainable rates, and if this is allowed to continue, it is likely they may disappear forever.

Your department has a responsibility to protect endangered wildlife. That is why we, the undersigned, are urging you to at long last classify giraffes as endangered and prevent the import of all giraffe hunting trophies into the United States.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Miroslav Duchacek

Demand Clean Car Standards Be Reinstated

Target: Scott Pruitt, Administrator of Environmental Protection Agency

Goal: Stop the rollback of clean car standards.

The EPA is planning an overhaul of their clean car standards. The clean car standards this country has used for the past decade have been enormously successful, reducing nearly 250 million tons of climate emissions and saving almost $50 billion in gas expenses. Pruitt’s administration plans on rolling back these standards in a move that benefits automakers and oil tycoons.

Vehicle emissions are one of the top pollutants of the environment, and the EPA had been successful at starting to heal some of the previous damage. The move is another in a series of attacks on the environment by Pruitt’s EPA. Sign the petition below to demand he restore the clean car standards immediately!

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Pruitt,

The actions you take in office lead the American people to believe that you want the Earth to suffer at your hand. Never before has an administrator shown such a complete lack of respect for the field they administrate. Rolling back the clean car standards is almost as harmful as dumping toxic waste directly into our streams.

The American public has not trusted the actions of this administration from the second you took office; now is your chance to restore some of that public trust. Take the necessary action to ensure that our environment doesn’t suffer any more under your watch.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit:  Gage Skidmore

Protect Migratory Species of The World

Target: Jim Kurth, Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service

Goal: Protect migratory wildlife from expanding construction and urbanization.

Thousands of wildlife species’ migration patterns are threatened by 40 million miles of concrete. These roads are highly dangerous to the animals forced to cross them; many are killed by motorists each year, and they provide next to no nourishment to sustain them during their lengthy journeys. Those who are not endangered on these roads are blocked from travel by the settlements and developments they lead to, while aquatic wildlife are blocked by over 400 dams.

Migration is highly important to many species. It is how they seek out others of their kind to breed and increase their numbers, and it is how many protect themselves from adverse weather effects. With this inborn instinct and life pattern of theirs blocked by settlements such as dams or endangered by dangerous road conditions, these animals remain isolated. They suffer the negative effects of summer or winter, and are unable to reproduce. This has already led to the endangerment of many species, and will possibly cause extinction of some down the line.

These structures are beneficial to human beings, but these benefits should not come at the expense of wildlife and their natural patterns. Sign this petition to demand safe passageways for all migratory wildlife.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Director Kurth,

The migratory patterns of thousands of wildlife species are in jeopardy due to the increasing amount of roads and settlements being built. While these roads and settlements are vital to humans, many animals are killed by passing motorists, or blocked in by dams or other structures. Migration is highly important to the survival of these animals, as it aids them in seeking out others of their kind for reproduction and allows them to seek protection from adverse weather effects.

You must aid in making the roads safer for wildlife, and ensuring that there will always be passages for these species on land, in water, or in the air. If unable to migrate, these animals will become endangered or even go extinct due to adverse weather and a lack of chances to breed and increase their numbers. It is possible to allow for urban development without destroying these animals’ way of life.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Western Arctic Reserve

Revive the Northern White Rhino From Near-Extinction

Target: Jim Kurth, Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service

Goal: Support scientific endeavors to bring the northern white rhino back from near-extinction.

Scientists have discovered a way to preserve the northern white rhino as a subspecies even after the last remaining male died from health complications. This method is in-vitro fertilization coupled with stem cell science; frozen sperm from deceased male rhinos plus the eggs of the two last aging females would be implanted into the womb of female southern white rhinos.

However, this method is both controversial and still a fledgling idea. Currently, eggs and sperm alike have been frozen until scientists can figure out a foolproof way to implant them. But more than that, the idea has proven controversial, as conservationists believe the money required to fund this revival should be used to protect other species. While technically true, the northern white rhino’s near-extinct status should render it a priority at the moment, thus the need to back this endeavor.

A species hunted to near-extinction so rarely has the chance to be revived, and the northern white rhino deserves that chance. Sign this petition to support funding for the IVF and stem cell methods in saving this species.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Director Kurth,

The northern white rhino is on the brink of extinction after the last remaining male died of illness, but scientists have discovered a way to preserve the population via IVF. The eggs of the two remaining females plus sperm frozen from other deceased males would be implanted into the uterus of female southern white rhinos.

Unfortunately, in addition to the practice of rhino IVF still being in the fledgling stages, the plan has generated some controversy due to conservationists feeling other species are more deserving of the funding that would go into this plan. While it is good to protect as many endangered species as possible, the northern white rhino is in dire need of resuscitation. The only two remaining are elderly, and their time on this planet is limited.

You must support this endeavor wholeheartedly. The northern white rino deserves this chance at a revival, and is worth the funds necessary to make it possible. Support the scientists as they work to save this subspecies from completely disappearing.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Sheep81

Success: Congratulate Montana for Rejecting Coal Development

Target: Brian Morris, Judge for the District of Montana

Goal: Congratulate Judge Morris for protecting precious land and resources from oil drilling.

A Montana court delivered a heroic ruling recently and saved over 15 million acres of land from being turned into coal mines and oil refineries. A proposal by the Bureau of Land Management would have desecrated sacred land in Montana and Wyoming.

Thanks to efforts by conservation groups, the case made it to court in Montana, where Judge Brian Morris ruled the proposal to be unlawful. The case took several years to fight and was an uphill battle for the defense, but thanks to Judge Morris and all of the environmental groups involved, Montana and Wyoming will remain beautiful. Sign this petition below to thank Judge Morris for his tremendous decision.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Judge Morris,

Thank you for allowing pristine land to remain beautiful under environmental protection. By ruling this proposal unlawful, you have set a precedent as we shift towards renewable energy. Now, when land groups seek to desecrate beautiful land, they will have an exceedingly more difficult time doing so.

If judges like you continue to protect our environment in the age of Trump and the Pruitt-led EPA, then our planet stands a chance of survival. With an administration so determined to kill the planet, decisions like yours make all of the difference.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: United States Forest Service

Demand EPA Ban Deadly Chemical in Household Products

Target: Scott Pruitt, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency

Goal: Follow through with ban on lethally toxic paint-thinning chemical.

A common household product is already responsible for killing dozens of people. Methlyene chloride is a chemical found in common paint thinners that has been found to be toxic to humans, yet the Environmental Protection Agency has not followed through with a proposed ban on the chemical.

The EPA had plans to ban the product altogether after Obama-era regulations were put in place, yet the agency has moved to a standstill in regards to banning the chemical. The chemical has been found to be too toxic to use indoors and has killed dozens of people already, including veterans, teenagers, and a mother of four. Sign the petition below to demand the EPA go through with the ban.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Pruitt,

Once again, your agency is doing a terrible job at protecting the environment from harmful chemicals. This time, the problem has spread to suburbia, where people are just trying to strip paint from the sides of their houses. Nobody should have to worry about dying when they’re stripping paint.

Choosing to take your time on this issue does nothing but further harm at-risk families. There is no positive outcome that happens when you keep a toxic chemical like this legal, so why are you hesitating? We, the American people, demand a solution to this issue at once. Ban methlyene chloride now!

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

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

U.S. Military Must Reduce Toxic Waste and Contamination

Target: Jim Mattis, United States Secretary of Defense

Goal: Demand that the Pentagon work to clean up areas that have been contaminated with military pollution across the United States and worldwide.

The United States military is the world’s largest polluter, producing more toxic waste than the five largest U.S. chemical manufacturers combined. Both domestic and foreign U.S. military bases consistently rank as some of the most polluted places worldwide, with hazardous jet and rocket fuel components being major culprits for contamination. With hundreds of bases listed on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Superfund cleanup list, it is clear that something must be done.

In the United States, almost 900 of the 1200 sites identified by the EPA as being the worst polluted locations are former military sites and bases. According to retired Michigan congressman John D. Dingell, “almost every military site in this country is seriously contaminated.” Globally, the situation is even worse, from groundwater contamination in Okinawa to depleted uranium leftover from the Gulf War in Iraq.

It is time that the United States military and the Department of Defense (DoD) take necessary measures to clean up their toxic legacy. Sign this petition and demand that more be done to reduce waste and address the severe contamination found at military bases and other installations worldwide.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Secretary Mattis,

The United States military has the dubious honor of being the world’s largest polluter, with almost 900 of the EPA’s Superfund sites consisting of former military bases and other sites. Worldwide, U.S. military actions have left contamination at thousands of locations, from the nuclear fallout on the Marshall Islands and Guam to depleted uranium leftover in Iraq from the Gulf War. At home, Navajo Indian reservations have been poisoned by former DoD-contracted uranium mines. These are just a few of many examples.

It’s time that the U.S. military and Department of Defense act to address these issues that have exposed potentially many millions of people to hazardous waste known to cause cancer and other illnesses. We, the undersigned, urge you to step up efforts to clean up the pollution found at both domestic and foreign bases and to pledge to reduce waste moving forward.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Ian Cunliffe

Stop Road Accidents That Kill Countless Animals

Target: Elaine L. Chao, U.S. Secretary of Transportation

Goal: Invest in roadway technologies that save human and animal lives.

If you have never been personally caught in a roadway accident involving an animal, you likely know someone who has experienced this danger. An estimated one billion dollars in damages result from such collisions every year. The more tragic statistics, however, mark the number of lives lost: some human, but most overwhelmingly animal deaths. Larger animals such as deer may get the courtesy of having their bodies removed from roadways if only to prevent vehicle ‘obstruction’ or damage. The lives of so many other animals are reduced to gory splatters on roads and highways across America.

Animal crossings present a viable solution to preventable tragedies where wildlife and civilization collide. Utilizing the best minds in science, engineering, and transportation planning, animal crossing initiatives develop safe passages for animals living and traveling near busy roadways. These projects include fencing around particularly dangerous areas, as well as construction of bridges, overpasses, and underpasses. Studies have validated that animals ranging from bears to deer do make use of these structures when they are available, curtailing countless accidents and fatalities. More beneficial still, these structures let animals travel the distances they need in order to ensure the diversity and replenishment of their species.

While animal crossings have become increasingly popular around the world, their numbers still remain woefully underrepresented in North America. Sign this petition to encourage the Department of Transportation to give this investment in human and animal safety a more in-depth evaluation.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Secretary Chao,

America spends billions of dollars on wildlife-related road accidents every year. Despite the loss of property and of life, a key tool in combating these preventable tragedies has not garnered the needed support. When an animal crossing initiative failed in Colorado despite its governor’s support, decision-makers cited cost as a major obstacle. Will these costs ever equal the losses already incurred, however, and the many more losses that will likely take place in the future?

Structures around the world, including one prominent structure in Alberta, Canada, are testament to the success of animal crossings in preventing roadway accidents and in helping wildlife flourish. Dedicated designers forge strong collaborations with highway planners, with conservation groups, with scientists and engineers, and with all interested parties in order to evaluate what works best. They also gather the necessary data to measure the effectiveness of these crossings, making maximum use of infrared cameras and other helpful technologies. The most important goal of these designers, though, lays in reaching out to the public and to policymakers about the benefit of these vastly underrepresented life-savers.

Please reach out in turn to discuss, collaborate, and ultimately implement a framework for wildlife crossing development nationwide.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: State Farm