A proposed mining project in the Santa Rita Mountains would involve a mile-wide, half mile-deep open pit mine that would cause great damage to habitat for many imperiled species, and dump toxic mining waste on national forest land.
“Over the past decade, millions of animals have met a grim fate at the hands of a ‘hit-man-for- hire’ arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which gets away with operating like a private contractor while taxpayers like you and me foot the bill,” says Charlotte Conley, a Defenders’ conservation associate.
East-central Montana is a beautiful but brutal landscape in December. Wind whips and snow drifts across the rugged, open scrublands. In this harsh climate lives the sage-grouse, a plucky bird that once thrived across the sagebrush sea. Today, however, the population is plummeting from habitat loss.
With an oblong face and a black nose splotch, the Sonoran pronghorn stands out against the cacti-strewn landscape of the American Southwest. It is also one of the rarest of the five subspecies of American pronghorn. Smaller and lighter than its cousins, it shares their ability to blaze across the landscape as fast as 60 miles an hour. But it was never as numerous. This makes their recovery all the more difficult.
Wind energy is crucial to battling climate change. Can it expand without harming eagles?
Hot air rises off the Mojave Desert like devil’s breath. Sage-scented and sandy, it lofts to collide with cool gusts sliding down the granite slopes of the Sierra Nevada. This is the realm of golden eagles, drawn for millennia by these swirling winds to hunt, sky-dance and execute their spectacular courtship rituals. They are kings of the currents that sweep over the barren landscape of the Tehachapi region 120 miles northeast of Los Angeles.
Large carnivores—big cats, wolves, bears and more—face enormous threats from loss of prey and habitat to use of their parts in traditional medicine. But beefed up livestock production worldwide—50 percent more in the last 50 years—is also taking a tremendous toll, says William Ripple, lead author of a new Oregon State University College of Forestry study. It’s also significantly contributing to greenhouse gas emissions.