The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
U.S. Navy Proposes Massive Land Grab to Test Bombs
Friday the U.S. Navy released details of a plan to seize more than 600,000 acres of public land in central Nevada to expand a bombing range. The land under threat includes rich habitat for mule deer, important desert springs and nesting sites for raptors like golden eagles.
If approved by Congress, the 1,536-page plan would transform entire valleys and mountain ranges into bombing targets. Combined with another proposal to expand the Air Force's Nevada Test and Training Range, the military is attempting to grab 1.75 million acres of public land in Nevada—an area larger than Delaware.
"It's outrageous that the Trump administration wants to ram another military takeover of public lands down our throats," said Patrick Donnelly, Nevada state director at the Center for Biological Diversity. "The wide-open spaces of central Nevada's basin-and-range country are part of what makes our state so spectacular. Congress shouldn't let Trump seize hundreds of thousands of acres of public land so the military can drop bombs on our cherished wildlife and wild places."
The proposal would triple the size of Fallon Naval Air Station bombing ranges, seizing land in the iconic Fairview Peak area and the Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge. The plan released Friday follows an earlier proposal to expand the Nevada Test and Training Range in southern Nevada, which would take more than 1.1 million acres of Desert National Wildlife Refuge, currently managed to protect bighorn sheep and other wildlife.
The public has 60 days to comment on the enormous draft environmental impact statement, shorter than the 90 days normally given to comment on such a lengthy and complex document. The Navy has scheduled public meetings in Hawthorne and Gabbs (Dec. 10), Austin and Eureka (Dec. 11), Fallon (Dec. 12), and Reno and Lovelock (Dec. 13).
"The military has a long history of trying to stymie legally required public involvement," said Donnelly. "We'll shine a bright light on this process and highlight the risks this bombing range expansion poses to wildlife and public lands."
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
It's become a familiar story with the Trump administration: Scientists write a report that shows the administration's policies will cause environmental damage, then the administration buries the report and fires the scientists.
By Jake Johnson
Calling the global climate crisis both the greatest threat facing the U.S. and the greatest opportunity for transformative change, Sen. Bernie Sanders unveiled today a comprehensive Green New Deal proposal that would transition the U.S. economy to 100 percent renewable energy and create 20 million well-paying union jobs over a decade.
The Parties to CITES agreed to list giraffes on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) today at the World Wildlife Conference or CoP18 in Geneva. Such protections will ensure that all giraffe parts trade were legally acquired and not sourced from the poached giraffes trade and will require countries to make non-detriment findings before allowing giraffe exports. The listing will also enable the collection of international trade data for giraffes that might justify greater protections at both CITES and other venues in the future.
The WHO stressed that more research is needed on the potential health risks of microplastic ingestion. luchschen / iStock / Getty Images Plus
The UN's health agency on Thursday said that microplastics contained in drinking water posed a "low" risk at their current levels.
However, the World Health Organization (WHO) — in its first report on the potential health risks of microplastic ingestion — also stressed more research was needed to reassure consumers.