Defenders News Briefs: Fall 2010

Defenders Sues To Stop Coal Mining

Continuing to push for cleaner, more sustainable energy, Defenders of Wildlife in July sued the Interior Department to halt the sale and mining of coal leases in the Powder River Basin of northeastern Wyoming. The basin is the nation’s largest coal-producing region, with 500 million tons strip-mined every year and then burned in hundreds of coal-fired power plants across the country. The region’s coal is responsible for nearly 14 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions in the United States. The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, is the first case challenging the Obama administration’s failure to confront the climate change impacts of its federal coal-leasing program. The administration plans to offer 12 new leases that could collectively produce 5.8 billion tons of coal—as much as has been mined from the entire region over the last 20 years. Burning this coal would release more than 10.6 billion tons of carbon dioxide—nearly one and a half times the total amount of greenhouse gases released in the United States in 2008.


Foundation Helps Defenders Protect Wildlife

The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation in June awarded Defenders of Wildlife, the Natural Resources Defense Council and The Wilderness Society a $3.1 million grant for a three-year project to promote wildlife-friendly and environmentally-responsible renewable energy development. The grant will allow the groups to coordinate and increase their oversight of and advice to government agencies in the selection of sites for geothermal and wind- and solar-powered energy projects. “This grant will help ensure that wildlife conservation has a strong voice in the development of a national policy for renewable energy at a time when the environmental, economic and human costs of our continued addiction to fossil fuels have become all too apparent,” says Defenders President Rodger Schlickeisen. “We are very grateful to the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation for this support.”


Cousteau Helps Highlight Sea Otter’s Plight

To help kick off Sea Otter Awareness Week, which began September 26, Defenders unveiled a new public service announcement (PSA) about the otters’ plight that features ocean advocate Philippe Cousteau, grandson of the legendary French oceanographer Jacques Cousteau. Defenders unveiled the PSA at a beach screening in Santa Barbara, California, and timed it to coincide with National Beach Cleanup Day. 

How You Can Help

Learn what you can do to help protect imperiled sea otters.

More Articles from Fall 2010

These iconic predators—who once ruled from the southern tip of Africa all the way to northwestern India—are at risk of extinction by 2020.
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a natural treasure, yet five decades after its founding it remains vulnerable.
Fresh snow covered the ground on a cold day last March as Marvin Moriarty trudged up the short, steep hill to the entrance of the Greeley Mine in Stockbridge, Vermont, to see first-hand the effects of white-nose syndrome in bats.
Steps the government needs to take before removing wolves from the endangered species list.
Treefrogs, African icons, penguins, baboons and lizards make the news
A federal court sided with Defenders, ruling this summer that the wolf delisting plan illegally removed federal protections from wolves.
These endangered canines closely resemble wolves in their pack-oriented social structure.
Defenders chief scientist heads to the Gulf to document the oil spill's impact on wildlife.
At least 15 piping plover chicks fledged this year at Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
With too many wolves illegally killed, the Mexican wolf recovery program is in danger of failing.
Citizen scientists take the road less traveled to help wildlife.
Window collisions are the leading cause of death for migratory songbirds.

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