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

Stop the Mass Slaughter of Rattlesnakes at Festival

Target: Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas

Goal: Put an end to a cruel snake slaughtering event at an annual festival.

For the 60th year, people will flock to Sweetwater, Texas to witness a bloody spectacle in which thousands of rattlesnakes held in a pit will be beheaded and skinned before their eyes. There is no reason behind this senseless killing, and it is time that this sick festival be brought at last to an end.

The Sweetwater Jaycees Festival, held by the United States Junior Chamber, says that its so-called Rattlesnake Roundup is necessary to control the “enormous snake populations” found in and around Sweetwater. However, there is no scientific backing to these claims, and once these snakes are captured, they are kept in tiny boxes without food for weeks while they await their ultimate demise during the festival’s main event.

While the event organizers claim that the festival provides a necessary boost to the local economy each year, there must be a way to encourage tourism to the area without the torturing and killing of innocent snakes. Sign this petition to demand that the Rattlesnake Roundup be ended once and for all.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Governor Abbott,

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the first Rattlesnake Roundup held in Sweetwater, Texas. Each year since then, thousands of snakes have died during a senseless bloodbath as part of the Sweetwater Jaycees Festival. It far past time that this sick tradition be brought to an end.

Rattlesnakes are a natural part of the environment in Texas and do not need to be ‘controlled’ through mass roundups or killings. They do not deserve to be beheaded alive and skinned for the enjoyment of onlookers. That is why we urge you to intervene and tell the event organizers that this barbaric mass slaughter has no place in the 21st century.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: H. Krisp