With the administration’s plans to remove many regulations put in place to protect our environment, what can we expect in our future? Here is a list of which environmental rules Trump and the Republican Congress have reversed in their first 100 days. Note that approving the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines are a couple of the very first items on the list. Please consider sending a public comment opposing the Keystone Pipeline to the Nebraska Public Service Commission, no later than 5pm Friday Central time via the Sierra Club. If you want to know how important this is to our birds, you can read my post on the Keystone XL and birds. This is a video explaining what tar sands production is doing to our environment.
What other environmental catastrophes might we be looking at in the coming days? Recently the Republican lead House of Representatives has released their proposed 2108 budget which would allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Big oil proponents have been trying to get ANWR opened for drilling for years. It is a recipe for disaster if that ever happens.
Let’s look at Trump’s famous plan to build a wall on our Southern border. What affect would that have on wildlife? We recently learned of the administration’s plans to expand the border wall in Texas within the Santa Anna National Wildlife Refuge! According to the article, “As one of the top birding destinations in the United States, the refuge attracts more than 165,000 visitors each year and generates an estimated $462 million to the local economy. Home to over 400 species of birds, 450 types of native plants, half of the U.S. species of butterflies, and many endangered, threatened or candidate species to be listed under the Endangered Species Act.” It predicts “If the wall were constructed as described it would eliminate migratory movements of mammals, which could include endangered ocelots, mountain lions, Sonoran pronghorn, foxes, and deer that cross the Rio Grande for food or shelter, and lead to genetic inbreeding and eventually species extinction.”
We have been fighting the Sagebrush Rebellion for years now. Trying to get protections for the Sage Grouse before their time runs out. Just yesterday, the Department of Interior, headed by Ryan Zinke, issued new direction to federal agencies to revise current federal Sage Grouse conservation plans to allow for more fossil fuel development, livestock grazing and other land uses that could negatively affect the grouse and hundreds of other species in the Sagebrush Sea.
The list goes on and on. Don’t even get me started on healthcare. Even today, Trump threatened North Korea with “fire and fury,” clueless that he may be getting us into a nuclear war!
When your government begins attacking the free press and doing things that are detrimental to its citizens, it’s time for its citizens to act.
Let me be very clear. I am not condoning violent acts against our government, nor our leaders. I am suggesting people attend town hall meetings with their legislators to let them know how you feel about the direction of our current administration. Write letters to your legislators, sign petitions, do whatever you can to turn the tide toward a more benevolent government.
Larry Jordan was introduced to birding after moving to northern California where he was overwhelmed by the local wildlife, forcing him to buy his first field guide just to be able to identify all the species visiting his yard. Building birdhouses and putting up feeders brought the avian fauna even closer and he was hooked. Larry wanted to share his passion for birds and conservation and hatched The Birder's Report in September of 2007. His recent focus is on bringing the Western Burrowing Owl back to life in California where he also monitors several bluebird trails. He is a BirdLife Species Champion and contributes to several other conservation efforts, being the webmaster for Wintu Audubon Society and the Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Urban Bird Foundation. He is now co-founder of a movement to create a new revenue stream for our National Wildlife Refuges with a Wildlife Conservation Pass.
Tom’s 2018 Year List – 686
Pat’s 2018 Year List – 542
Clare M’s 2018 Year List – 340
Donna’s 2018 Year List – 220
Corey’s 2018 Year List – 278
Donna’s 2017 Year List – 840
Pat’s 2017 Year List – 746
Corey’s 2017 Year List – 568
Clare M’s 2017 Year List – 458
Jochen’s 2017 Year List – 250
Tom’s 2017 Year List – 251
Pat’s 2016 Year List – 882
Donna’s 2016 Year List – 709
Clare M’s 2016 Year List – 464