Press Releases

Below are Defenders' ten most recent press releases.
February 2, 2015

The pallid sturgeon, a critically endangered North American fish with ancestors dating back to the time of dinosaurs, may die out in a few years without access to prime spawning habitat if river dam operations in the upper Missouri River are not changed. Today, conservation groups filed a lawsuit against three federal agencies, demanding that the agencies fix their dam operations that threaten the existence of wild pallid sturgeon.

January 28, 2015
Lesser Prairie Chicken, © Joel Sartore

Today the Senate rejected an amendment that would have removed federal protections for the lesser prairie chicken, an iconic grassland grouse whose population recently plummeted leading to a 2014 threatened listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Senator Moran of Kansas introduced the amendment which would have immediately and permanently delisted the imperiled birds, jeopardizing conservation and recovery of the species.

January 25, 2015

The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has recommended that the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge’s coastal plain be designated as a wilderness area.

January 21, 2015

Today the Senate voted down an amendment, sponsored by Mike Lee (UT), to the Keystone pipeline bill that would have restricted citizens’ access to the courts and curtailed their ability to hold the government accountable when it fails to properly enforce the Endangered Species Act.

January 15, 2015

Yellowstone National Park has begun to round up and ship wild bison to slaughterhouses as they cross park boundaries in search of food at lower snow depths. Today, the National Park Service announced that round-ups have begun to take place and that bison will be transported to the Stephens Creek facility near the park’s north entrance and held until they are sent to slaughterhouses. This year’s killing program is slated to be the largest in seven years.

January 13, 2015

Today the U.S. Forest Service temporarily put the brakes on an environmentally hazardous mining project in southern Arizona’s Coronado National Forest that it previously approved in August. The Forest Service’s decision follows a similar move by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which had originally given the project the green light in August and then withdrew its approval in December. The agency decisions to withdraw their approvals of the Canadian mining company Regal Resources’ “Sunnyside Project” are based on the project’s potential violation of multiple environmental laws.

January 12, 2015

Conservationists say they’ll fight provisions in a new federal rule that caps the population of endangered Mexican gray wolves in the Southwest at numbers too low for recovery, bans them from needed recovery habitat, and makes it easier for them to be killed. While the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s new rule allows wolves in an expanded area, the other provisions will impede the long-term recovery of these rare animals.

January 12, 2015
Gray Wolf, © Bruce Faanes

Conservationists, wildlife biologists and National Park employees – all members of the original team that helped reintroduce gray wolves to Yellowstone National Park twenty years ago – today returned to the park to celebrate one of this country’s greatest wildlife conservation success stories.

January 8, 2015

A strong majority of Montana residents support efforts to restore wild bison populations in the state and oppose legislative efforts to impede wild bison restoration, according to a new poll conducted by Tulchin Research. The poll results arrive just as some politicians in the Montana Legislature roll out aggressive anti-bison bills that, if passed, would severely curtail current and future bison restoration and management efforts.

December 23, 2014
Gray Wolf, © Dawn Hammond

Conservation groups are now offering up to a $20,000 reward for information leading to conviction of those responsible for the illegal killing of the breeding female wolf of the Teanaway pack in Washington’s Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Last month the groups posted a reward offer of up to $15,000, but have now increased the amount, after a member of Conservation Northwest stepped forward to contribute an additional $5,000.