WildEarth Guardians

A Force for Nature

WildEarth Guardians
News from the Frontline

Going to court to protect wildlife from deadly poisons

gray wolf pc dollarphotoclub.com

Guardians and our allies sued the federal government this month for failing to protect threatened and endangered species from two deadly toxins used to kill coyotes and other native carnivores. Our lawsuit demands the Environmental Protection Agency complete required analysis of the impacts of Compound 1080 and M-44 sodium cyanide bombs on federally protected animals. The dangerous, indiscriminate poisons are used by Wildlife Services and select states. Sodium cyanide is the primary ingredient in M-44s, the spring-loaded bombs that recently killed three dogs and one wolf and injured a child.


Guardians pushes to block giveaway of public lands for fracking

RMNP pc Jim Westhill NPS

Guardians’ fight against the giveaway of our public lands to the oil and gas industry is paying off: this month the Trump administration was forced to back down on auctioning nearly 30,000 acres of public lands next to Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. In addition, Guardians filed appeals this month to block public land sales to the fossil fuel industry in Colorado, Montana, and Utah. In Montana, nearly 70,000 acres in the Powder River Basin are on the block for fracking. Some 25,000 acres of public lands in central Utah are slated for giveaway to the oil and gas industry in June.


Defending future wilderness areas from motor vehicles

snow tracks pc Larry Campbell Friends of the Bitterroot

Guardians and a broad coalition of partner groups intervened in a lawsuit brought by off-road vehicle, snowmobile, and mountain bike groups challenging the Bitterroot National Forest travel plan. The travel plan protected the Blue Joint Wilderness Study Area, Sapphire Wilderness Study Area, and Selway-Bitterroot Recommended Wilderness Area from a rising tide of motorized and mechanized backcountry use. The user groups filed a lawsuit last December to undermine the travel plan and open those areas to motorized and mechanized use and abuse. We intervened to defend the Bitterroot’s travel plan and some of the wildest places in the lower 48.


Challenging carnivore killing in Colorado

mountain lion pc USFWS

Guardians is taking the federal government’s rogue wildlife-killing program, Wildlife Services, to court again. In a lawsuit filed this month, we challenged the program’s failure to fully analyze the environmental impacts of its plans to kill native carnivores across Colorado. Specifically, our suit challenges the feds’ role in carrying out plans by Colorado to kill over 120 mountain lions and black bears in a scientifically unsound attempt to increase mule deer populations so it can sell more hunting tags. We are trying to advance an ethic of coexistence that doesn’t entail killing native carnivores and that instead recognizes their ecological significance and intrinsic beauty.


Defending the moratorium on coal leasing

Coal Train pc WildEarth Guardians

WildEarth Guardians filed suit against the Trump administration over its opening of tens of thousands of acres of public lands to the coal industry. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke issued an order lifting a moratorium on coal leasing on public lands that we had secured under President Obama after years of dogged advocacy. The moratorium was a milestone in our campaign to rein in carbon pollution by keeping our publicly owned coal in the ground. Together with a coalition of allies, including the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, we immediately headed to court. With your help, we’re keeping the pressure on coal and continuing to Keep It in the Ground.


Bringing grizzly bears back to the North Cascades

Grizzly Bear pc Sam Parks

The National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are considering plans to reintroduce grizzly bears to Washington’s North Cascades National Park. Once numbering over 50,000 across the American West, grizzly bears in the Lower 48 were hunted, poisoned, and trapped to near extinction by the 1930s. In an important step toward recovering this cherished species, the feds are accepting comments on a proposal to bring the bruins back to this key historic homeland. Sign our citizens’ letter today to encourage the feds to restore grizzly bears to this ecologically rich, protected habit.

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Stream Team plants native trees in newest national wildlife refuge

Stream Team Valle de Oro 2017

More than 60 volunteers turned out for our Stream Team event April 1 at Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge and state lands adjacent to the Rio Grande in the South Valley of Albuquerque. Volunteers planted more than 350 cottonwoods and 3,000 willows to help restore native conditions in the river corridor. In total, we’ve planted 1,350 cottonwoods, 15,000 willows, and dozens of native riparian forage species in the first year of a multiyear project at this newest national wildlife refuge, a former 570-acre dairy farm. The refuge is being converted to mimic historical conditions that will benefit wildlife and river health.

See our photos >>

Cyanide bombs banned in Idaho

golden retriever pc istock

In response to a petition from Guardians and our allies, the federal wildlife-killing program, Wildlife Services, temporarily banned the use of M-44 sodium cyanide bombs in Idaho. The petition was prompted by a recent string of tragedies involving the deadly poison bombs, which killed a gray wolf in Oregon, two dogs in Wyoming, and a dog in Idaho as well as injuring a teenage boy. Because Wildlife Services could resume using M-44s in Idaho and still deploys them in other states, a national permanent ban is imperative. We will continue working to end the use of M-44s and other cruelty tools.


San Juan coal mine needs to shut down

San Juan Generating Station and Coal

At public hearings this month, WildEarth Guardians called for the shutdown of New Mexico’s San Juan coal mine and a transition from coal in the Four Corners region. The hearings were held as part of a review of the San Juan coal mine that was triggered by a Guardians lawsuit. The mine fuels the San Juan Generating Station, the largest source of climate pollution in New Mexico. Public Service Company of New Mexico, owner of the power plant, recently announced it would not be cost-effective to operate beyond 2022, opening the door to shutter the mine and advance a Just Transition to clean energy and a more diversified economy.


Guardians promotes national forest restoration in D.C.

Old Culvert Mt Hood

As cherry trees bloomed on the National Mall, Guardians staffers trekked from one side of the Capitol to the other to advocate for the Forest Service’s Legacy Roads and Trails program. The program provides vital funding to restore waterways and landscapes in our damaged national forests. Removing unneeded roads stitches together lands for elk and bear. Removing small culverts reconnects streams for fish to navigate. And upgrading needed roads guarantees that people can access the wild places they love. Guardians and our many partners are asking Congress to continue to support this program with $40 million in next year’s budget.

See our photos >>

photo credits: (Left column) gray wolf—dollarphotoclub. RMNP—Jim Westfall, NPS. snowmobile tracks—Larry Campbell, Friends of the Bitterroot. mountain lion—USFWS. coal train—WildEarth Guardians. grizzly bear—Sam Parks Photography. golden retriever—istock. San Juan Generating Station—WildEarth Guardians. old culvert at Mt. Hood—USFS. (Right column) Janie Chodosh—WildEarth Guardians. bear save the date—Ray Rafiti. Caring Cent logo—Caring Cent. coyote—WildEarth Guardians. Beaver Creek—Forest Service Northern Region, creative commons, Flickr.




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Activist Spotlight


snapshot Janie Chodosh

“WildEarth Guardians is not afraid of taking bold and decisive steps to protect wildlife and wild places. They use science to make the strongest decisions for the future of the planet. My daughter and I both love wilderness and all things wild, and we want to make sure that the creatures and places we love are still around when she grows up, so we decided to volunteer our time in helping an organization that we see knows how to fight and to make a difference.”

~ Janie Chodosh, Santa Fe, NM



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Upcoming Events

Put these dates on your calendar!

Join Us As We Fight for Lobos in Tucson on April 26

Tree Planting Event
join our restoration crew to help plant willows along Redondo Creek in the Santa Fe National Forest
May 2 (RSVP today)

Denver Howling Affair
May 5 (tickets on sale)

Santa Fe Summer BBQ
**Free** if you RSVP
June 8

Santa Fe Guardians Gala
Oct. 6

Albuquerque Treehugger Bash Dec. 7



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Now you can also support WildEarth Guardians every time you shop. Dedicate a credit card to be your “rounding” card. Purchases made on this card are rounded up to the next whole dollar, and the difference is donated to Guardians. Once you register a card, you can cap your monthly donation, make one time donations, and suspend your card. Learn more and register here. 



A Postcard from the Field:
Wildlife Watching in Yellowstone

coyote side view pc WildEarth Guardians


With a challenging start to 2017, the Montana Guardians crew needed a pick-me-up. So we took a trip to Yellowstone National Park to get a glimpse of species for whose protection we spend many hours tip-tapping on our keyboards. Through typical spring weather—snow squalls, wind, sun, and temperatures ranging from 70 to 20 degrees—we encountered 43 species and some of North America’s most spectacular wildlife. Highlights included 1) watching a grizzly gnaw on a bison head; 2) trailing a river otter as it zipped upstream; 3) worrying about a just-born bison calf as it tottered after its mother; 4) following the dramatic coyote social scene. The trip left us feeling fortunate for the natural heritage we have inherited and proud for our collective work protecting these species and their homes.

Check out our photos.

So, How'd it go...

Beaver Creek Road View near Hogback Lookout, Helena National

Thank you to the 8,495 of you who spoke up to ensure stronger protections for the magnificent diversity of vegetation and wildlife on the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest. A sprawling forest road system, “wreck”reation abuse by off-road vehicles and snowmobiles, and changes due to climate change threaten wild landscapes and connected ecosystems on the forest. Your voices helped us emphasize to the U.S. Forest Service that the forest plan revision is the perfect opportunity to address these threats and ensure the recovery of Canada lynx, grizzly bear, bull trout, and wolverine on the Helena-Lewis and Clark.

Read the citizens’ letter >>

Read Guardians’ letter >>




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WildEarth Guardians' mission is to protect and restore the wildlife, wild places, wild rivers, and health of the American West.


MAIN OFFICE: 516 Alto Street, Santa Fe, NM 87501 Phone 505.988.9126
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