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Anchorage, AK

Biden Administration Restores Roadless Area Protections to Tongass National Forest

Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reinstated the national Roadless Area Conservation Rule in the Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska. The move restricts development on roughly 9.3 million acres in North America’s largest temperate rainforest.
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Humpback whale breaching Stellwagen Bank MA
Washington, D.C.

Vessel Strikes to Blame for Series of Whale Deaths?

On a cold winter beach in New Jersey, onlookers huddled around a 30-foot dead humpback whale lying on the sand. This was one of more than a dozen whales that have washed up on beaches along the U.S. East Coast since the beginning of December 2022. Five of these whales washed up in New Jersey, two in New York and others on the coasts of states from Maine to Florida. A total of 178 humpback whales have washed up along East Coast beaches since 2016, leading the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to declare an “unusual mortality event.” An investigation is underway.
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North Atlantic Right Whales
Washington, D.C.

Biden Administration Sinks Emergency Petition to Shield Right Whale Moms, Calves From Vessel Strikes

NOAA Fisheries today denied an emergency petition that sought to protect critically endangered North Atlantic right whales from being struck and killed by vessels in their calving grounds off the coast of the southeast United States. The species is down to about 70 reproductive females.

Press Releases

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Washington, D.C.

Lesser Prairie-Chicken Gets Federal Protections

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is listing the lesser prairie-chicken under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Southern DPS of the lesser prairie-chicken is being listed as endangered. The Northern DPS of the lesser prairie-chicken is being listed as threatened, although Defenders petitioned for it to be endangered, which would provide it stronger protections.
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North Atlantic Right Whale and Calf
Washington, D.C.

Gulf of Maine Lobster Fishery Loses ‘Sustainable’ Label Over Concerns About North Atlantic Right Whale Entanglements

The Marine Stewardship Council and Seafood Watch decided to revoke the sustainability label for Gulf of Maine lobster, citing concerns over endangered North Atlantic right whales becoming entangled in fishing gear. The decision comes after Defenders of Wildlife and other conservation groups acted in June 2022 to protect the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale by formally objecting to a determination that the fishery should be recertified. MSC certification is widely recognized in grocery stores with a “blue fish tick” ecolabel.
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Northern Spotted Owl - Rosenburg - Oregon
Washington, D.C.

Judge Allows Biden Administration to Delay Restoring Critical Endangered Species Act Protections

In a major setback for wildlife protection and conservation, a federal district court today sided with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries, delaying the restoration of comprehensive Endangered Species Act protections for hundreds of species and the places they call home.
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Okefenokee kayaking
Washington, D.C.

Lawsuit Challenges Army Corps Decision Imperiling Wetlands Near Okefenokee Swamp

On behalf of Defenders of Wildlife and three other conservation groups, the Southern Environmental Law Center today challenged in federal court a decision by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to unlawfully reinstate jurisdictional determinations that removed Clean Water Act protections from almost 600 acres of wetlands on the doorstep of the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.
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Caribou on tundra in NPR-A
Anchorage, AK

Preserving Vital Habitat in Alaska's Western Arctic

Alaska's western Arctic encompasses a vast, wild stretch of land called the National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska. At 23 million acres it is the largest single unit of public land in the nation. That's about the same size as the entire state of Indiana! Learn more from our new ArcGIS StoryMap.
Vice President, Communications
rbrittin@defenders.org
(202) 772-3255
Communications Specialist
karberg@defenders.org
(202) 772-0259
Director, Communications
pclerkin@defenders.org
Communications Specialist
hhammer@defenders.org
(202) 772-0295