The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Will Congress Fail to Protect Our Cherished Lands for the First Time in History?
The Wilderness Society and the Sierra Club joined more than 60 local and national groups asking Congress to take action to protect America’s dwindling wilderness this year. The coalition sent a letter warning that time is running out for more than two dozen wilderness bills that span from California to Maine.
The 112th Congress has been the most anti-wilderness Congress in history, blocking any wilderness legislation from getting to the House floor. And if the U.S. House of Representatives stays on its current course, this will be the first Congress since 1966 to not protect a single acre of wilderness.
“Wilderness is a unique American legacy that has always had broad, bipartisan support on the ground and in Congress,” said Jamie Williams, president of The Wilderness Society. “Americans across the country are asking the 112th Congress to continue this incredible legacy and protect wilderness before going home for the holidays.”
After a divisive election, it is clear that the American people want a Congress that will reach across the aisle and work together. That support showed up during the 2012 elections. All across the country voters passed local measures to protect and conserve land. Of the 57 measures on local and statewide ballots, 46 passed—an approval rate of 81 percent. The measures in 21 states will provide more than $2 billion overall, including $767 million in new money to support protection of water quality, new parks and natural areas, and working farms and ranches.
“If things don’t change soon, this will be the first Congress in generations to fail to protect a single acre of American wilderness,” said Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club. “All across the country, the support for preserving our natural legacy has been loud and clear. Now, it’s time Congress listened.”
The letter states:
“Nearly 50 years ago, the Wilderness Act passed the House with one dissenting vote and passed the Senate 73-12. Protecting our dwindling patches of truly wild areas always gets bipartisan support at the local level—and it used to get bipartisan support in Washington as well. It is not too late to redeem this legacy.”
Visit EcoWatch’s BIODIVERSITY pages for more related news on this topic.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Jake Johnson
Just over a month after proclaiming that the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. would soon "be down to close to zero," President Donald Trump said during a press briefing on the White House lawn Sunday that limiting U.S. deaths from the pandemic to between 100,000 and 200,000 people would mean his administration and the country as a whole did "a very good job."
Documents unearthed in a lawsuit brought by a Missouri farmer who claimed that Monsanto and German chemical maker BASF's dicamba herbicide ruined his peach orchard revealed that the two companies knew their new agricultural seed and chemical system would likely damage many U.S. farms, according to documents seen by The Guardian.
By Albert Van Dijk, Luigi Renzullo, Marta Yebra and Shoshana Rapley
2019 was the year Australians confronted the fact that a healthy environment is more than just a pretty waterfall in a national park; a nice extra we can do without. We do not survive without air to breathe, water to drink, soil to grow food and weather we can cope with.
By Fino Menezes
Everyone adores dolphins. Intelligent, inquisitive and playful, these special creatures have captivated humans since the dawn of time. But dolphins didn't get to where they are by accident — they needed to develop some pretty amazing superpowers to cope with their environment.