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Petitioning President of the United States, United States Department of the Interior, Department of Energy, Department of Justice, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. Department of State, Dona...

KEEP AMERICA GREAT! Protect America's National Parks Now and Forever!

Imagine a country without National Parks. Imagine a land with oil fields instead of geysers, mountains littered with construction equipment, the greatest trees in the world laying, stricken from their roots. Imagine a country with no Grand Canyon. Or Yellowstone. Or Yosemite. Recently, the new Republican government has paved the way to opening up these sacred lands to be sold and/or used for drilling or development. This is one of the most solemn moments America has ever seen. Donald Trump has already signed executive orders which, if passed, will revive the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. Along with censoring the EPA and the National Park Service, these movements could lead to many lands, and the Parks themselves, being sold off to companies and developers, letting them be turned into pipeline sites, real estate, or mining sites for gas, coal, and oil. This would turn our National Parks to nothing more but dumping grounds and building sites. Stand up. Speak up. Don't let this continue! Don't set a precedent letting the government butcher our lands and drain them of their beauty! Sign to ask the President and all other names mentioned to do this: Reverse this Ease to Open the National Parks to Businesses.  In the words of President Theodore Roosevelt himself: “Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children's children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.”

Sproutogether Inc
50,588 supporters
Petitioning Anabel Solá Márquez (Rama Judicial de Puerto Rico), Ricardo Roselló Nevares (Oficina del Gobernador de Puerto Rico), Departamento de Agricultura de Puerto Rico, International Surfing Community, Jun...

Stop Christopher Columbus Landing Resort and Designate a Natural Reserve

Sign this petition to STOP CONSTRUCTION of the Christopher Columbus Landing Resort until PUBLIC HEARINGS ARE FULLY RENEWED through an ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER from THE GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO to P.R's PLANNING BOARD and CARIBBEAN MANAGEMENT GROUP, INC. We oppose the construction of a coastal mega hotel-residential complex, which consists of 121-acres, 300 room hotel with a 17,000 square foot casino, convention center, 160 condo-hotel units, 240 apartment condominium, and 100 residential villas. The complex covers nearly 4,000 feet of the coastline of Playuela, a significant part of an already-working Ecological Corridor in Northwest Puerto Rico, Municipality of Aguadilla. Construction operations started last October 31st, 2016 on urban-free lands ("Suelos Rústicos") that should be maintained free from urbanization. This land category is established in the Land Use Plan of the Puerto Rico Planning Board (pags 140-151, 2015). This is also true for the Municipality Territorial Ordinance. Developers vaguely justify urbanization here under the Law of Tourism Development, arguing that the project will have little ecological impact and brings economy. In fact, because of this law, developers applied for tax forgiveness and they won't even pay Municipal taxes for this construction project.  Environmental groups argue this economic model is highly unsustainable, only benefiting specific-private construction and real estate business owners, promoting social inequity, and environmental degradation/conflicts.    These lands hold great biodiversity of fauna and flora. Species interact with the urban-free environment to form a Sustainable Paradise with up to five distinct ecosystems. This provides a sense of place to the people. Several protected species of corals, manatees, hawksbill turtles, boas (potentially), birds, and native palm trees depend on Land & Sea Ecological Integrity and would benefit from conservation and restoration efforts. Also, this area hosts four of the most recognized surf breaks, not just by Puerto Rico, but also by the international surfing community. These are: “El Mix”, “Wishing Wells”, “Pressure Point”, and “Wilderness”. South of this site are other world class breaks like “Gas Chambers” and “Crash Boats”, and North "Surfers Beach", "Table Tops", "PR's Backdoor", and "Survivals". To complete the Christopher Columbus Landing Resort it is required the construction of an extended sewage pipeline system damaging underground aquifers. Increasing the capacity of a nearby-river sewage treatment plant is also required. Curious enough, the project was sold to investors as a Beach Front Hotel Complex. Now we know, this propaganda was an OAX! The project engineer admitted a sandy beach will not be constructed. Nevertheless, significant threats of habitat loss and scenery degradation remains. Natural-intrinsic coastal values are essential sustainable-assets for the local economy, attracting tourists to Aguadilla, Rincón, Isabela and other Northwest Municipalities of PR. Many existing hotels, hostels, and guest houses in the area benefit from these resources. However, it is an undeniable truth that the natural space is poorly managed, being affected by illegal trash deposits, sewage disposal, and eroding trails. To consolidate our cause we are developing counter-proposals to designate these lands as a series of Surfing/Natural Reserves and develop a Management Plan for the Ecological Corridor. These are strategic investments that can be done to develop sustainable economies like Eco-Tourism and ensure the coherent implementation of the Land Use Plan to be in concordance with the sustainability needs of Puerto Rico's socio-economic and socio-ecological systems. ACT NOW!!! DEMAND RENEWAL OF PUBLIC HEARINGS, an appropriate forum and level of discussion where the destiny of Playuela's Beauty and Value can be changed for GOOD!    For More Information, Click Here!

La Liga Ecológica Puertorriqueña del Noroeste, INC.
27,173 supporters
Petitioning Leland Pollock (Garfield County Commissioners, Utah), Gary Herbert, United States Department of the Interior, Mike Lee, Orrin Hatch, Commission Chairman Clayson, Donald Trump

Preserve Utah's Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument!

Preserve Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument!The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument's vast and austere landscape in Southern Utah embraces a spectacular array of scientific and historic resources. Donald Trump’s administration, along with Utah’s delegation, is currently engaging in efforts to substantially reduce the monument. This effort is an archaic and illogical assault on one of the crown jewels of America’s National Monuments and an economic threat to the gateway communities of the Grand Staircase-Escalante.  Please sign our petition today to help protect one of America’s last great wilderness areas! Since the designation of the monument in 1996, the area’s economy has outpaced the rest of the state and many local citizens have made significant investments in the surrounding communities that are directly connected to the Monument designation, yet politicians in the state of Utah have perpetuated false information to the federal government regarding the sentiments of their constituents. Overwhelmingly, the citizens of Utah support leaving these monuments intact, with their current boundaries. The Trump administration has cut funding for the Bureau of Land Management and given orders to prioritize extractive industry partnerships over tourism, scientific research and recreation in the new budget.   Please sign today to let this administration know that Americans favor protecting wild, unique and historic landscapes over expansion of energy extraction and pollution of our environment.   We, the people implore our elected officials to cease all efforts to diminish the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument below the current boundaries. 

Coalition for Preservation of Grand Staircase
13,430 supporters
Petitioning United States Department of the Interior

STOP the EXTERMINATION OF America's Wild Horses and Burros and Restore their Protections

The Fate of over 100,000 America's Wild Horses and Burros is under Threat of EXTERMINATION pending potential approval of the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI)/ Bureau of Land Management (BLM)'s 2018 “BUDGET JUSTIFICATIONS”. The BLM’s Budget calls for provisions that if passed would strip protections and effectively allow the BLM to shoot and kill wild horses and burros and sell wild horses and burros for slaughter. In September of 2016, when public outcry against the recommended killing of 45,000 wild American horses and burros reached mainstream level it caught the attention of some of the most powerful mainstream media outlets. The combination of these factors brought increased exposure to the systemic mistreatment and reckless mismanagement of the wild horses and our public lands. Statements were then issued to mainstream press by BLM spokespersons, and the new headlines camouflaged and strengthened an ongoing cover up by the BLM, leaving the public in the dark. Meanwhile America’s wild horses and burros remain subject to the corrupt practices of the DOI/ BLM, via the BLM's underground pipeline of killing and slaughter. A so-called formal decision was promised to be publicized by the BLM in the spring of 2017, but instead they buried their DEATH SENTENCE in the DOI, BLM 2018 Budget documents, and more than doubled the number of innocent wild American Mustangs and Burros to be KILLED, to over 100,000. Their new proposed language would license them to SHOOT TO KILL and SELL FOR SLAUGHTER both free roaming and captured wild Mustangs and Burros, including those whom have been brutally rounded up and are currently held wrongly under encampment. There are over 200 million acres of public rangelands in the U.S. where these native wild animals could roam freely, but they are quickly being eliminated by the same governmental agencies that claim to protect them. Unless action is taken, America’s wild equids will continue to vanish – a potentially catastrophic scenario for generations to come. We have invested hundreds of millions of dollars to protect, care and feed these animals and we want their freedom and federal protection to be restored on the range. We urge the government to pass and enforce Federal protections for America's wild horses and burros and the support of comprehensive and science based solution oriented rangeland management, maintenance and restoration of this wild native species to our rangelands as part of the natural ecosystem. We want the government to model reverence and recognition of their indigenous heritage to North America and their inherent abilities to compliment the natural environment as a native species.   We cannot allow the dangerous and violent expulsion of America’s Mustangs from our lands. Through this petition and the Saving America's Horses initiative we can raise awareness, aim public outcry to stop the killing and reverse the degradation to open rangelands caused by BLM mismanagement, and restore the protections needed for our horses and burros, help expose the systemic corruption that has left virtually worthless the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act, which is supposed to protect horses and burros. We can do this, but we must act swiftly, get the true facts to the masses and effect the positive change that's needed. We must stand together to put an end to the scandalous mistreatment of these sentient beings and extend a circle of compassion to all living things. Please take action now by signing this petition and sharing it with your all your friends, family and colleagues.

Saving America's Horses
13,082 supporters
Petitioning United States Department of the Interior, United States Fish & Wildlife Service

Reinstate the Ban on Elephant and Lion Hunting Trophies - Stop the Poaching!

Reinstate the ban on elephant and lion hunting trophies that the Trump Administration just undid.  Zimbabwe and Zambia are in intense political turmoil and cannot be trusted to provide unbiased data on the safety of hunting endangered animals such as the elephant and lion. This reversal WILL damage those populations  and lead them to extinction and must not be allowed.   

Justin Thomas
9,068 supporters
Petitioning United States Department of Health and Human Services, Donald Trump, Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Department of the Interior, United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, U.S. Senate


STOP supporting this clear Misappropriation of Funding and Abuse of Authority by Officers of Government Agencies Aiding & Abetting CPS TYRANNY! De-fund Title IVE & IVD! This is not occurring by some foreign entity in some other country, it is happening on American soil and being orchestrated by our very own Government. Specifically Child Protective Services (DHS/DCFS/DSS/CPS) & Family Courts in every state across our GREAT NATION. The lives, health, and well being of our children are in clear and present danger as long as the Department of Child and Family Services has the power to remove them from our care without cause, without warrants or justification. As public service employees in all sectors of government continue to fail to uphold the law or protect those they were selected to serve & protect under The Constitution of The United States. The future of our children and families hang in the balance… CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES (CPS) and the FAMILY COURTSare STEALING OUR CHILDREN and OUR MONEY through the Social Security funds for the TITLE IVE & IVD FEDERAL FUNDING (SIGNED INTO EFFECT THROUGH THE "SAFE FAMILIES ACT" of 1997 by FORMER PRESIDENT - BILL CLINTON). On website you will find a pdf file of the money earned on the state by state adoption incentive statistics from 1998-2014. $500 million has been earned from adopting our children out since the Incentivized adoption policy was installed. We must act now to stop this practice once and for all.THE NATIONAL CENTER FOR CHILD ABUSE & NEGLECT (NCCAN) in WASHINGTON D.C. REPORTS: NUMBER OF CASES PER 100,000 CHILDREN in the UNITED STATES:CHILDREN IN CPS CUSTODY: PHYSICAL ABUSE (160) CHILDREN IN PARENT'S CUSTODY: PHYSICAL ABUSE (59) CHILDREN IN CPS CUSTODY: SEXUAL ABUSE (112) CHILDREN IN PARENT'S CUSTODY: SEXUAL ABUSE (13) CHILDREN IN CPS CUSTODY: NEGLECT (410) CHILDREN IN PARENT'S CUSTODY: NEGLECT (241) CHILDREN IN CPS CUSTODY: MEDICAL NEGLECT (14) CHILDREN IN PARENT'S CUSTODY: MEDICAL NEGLECT (12) CHILDREN IN CPS CUSTODY: CHILD DEATHS (6.4) CHILDREN IN PARENT'S CUSTODY: CHILD DEATHS (1.5) CHILDREN IN STATE CARE are 7 TIMES MORE LIKELY to SUFFERABUSE in FOSTER CARE than THEY ARE IN THEIR OWN HOMES. Doctors, physicians, and family care providers who have reported instances where severe neglect and/or abuse is noticeably occurring, are ignored due to the need to continue precipitating funding for out of home placement of perfectly healthy, well-adjusted children. DHS/DCFS/DSS/CPS and those in collusion with these departments and employees, employed within the United States Department of Health and Human Services, no longer PROTECT nor RESCUE TRULY ABUSED CHILDREN, whom are classified as "DAMAGED GOODS" & UNMARKETABLE. Children are being ripped from their loving families by CPS; without warrants, without court orders, without probable cause, and where no imminent danger exists. These children are being placed in foster care with pedophiles, rapists, substance abusers, having records for assaults, then placed up for adoption to strangers (avoiding family members for possible placement, as they only get the Federal Bonuses if they adopt these children out to strangers) - $80,000.00 for children who do not have a disability or handicap, and $140,000.00 if CPS can get them diagnosed (with a condition they often do not have) by one or more of their in-pocket doctors as having a condition such as: ADHD, ADD, Bi-Polar, Turrets, Anxiety, schizophrenia, etc... There is no independent oversight of these departments or their employees and this has fostered a level of UNPATRIOTIC behavior unparalleled to any this country has ever allowed to exist within or outside of our own boarders, until recently. Child Protective Services is targeting new mothers entering hospitals to give birth to their babies, and snatching these newborns right off their mother's breasts with the aid of the doctors who delivered these babies. Doctors/hospital social workers, are detaining these young mothers in the hospital until CPS can come and remove their baby from them where there is no abuse, drug addictions, neglect, etc... Nurseries are being used (not to display the new born babies as it has always been) but as holding tanks to await Social Services removal. Our Children are being placed with strangers; sold like cattle, into slavery and sex trade, and unfit homes, where they are being abused, starved, beaten, tortured, and even murdered. According to the National Center for Abused and Neglected Children in Washington D.C. Children are 7 times more likely to be harmed in foster/adoption care than they ever would have been with their own families. Child Protective Services no longer bother with rescuing truly abused/neglected children as they consider these children "DAMAGED GOODS!" un-adoptable, un-place-able, and unmarketable. They know about the children who are being abused and neglected, but do nothing to remove these children and often (if a removal does take place) they are placed back with their abusers in a very short amount of time before even conducting or concluding an investigation into this abuse. CPS has joined with Law Enforcement, Judges, Doctors, Nurses, Psychologists, Teachers, pharmaceutical companies, etc... correlating together to rip children away from their Bio-families by any means necessary, in order to obtain this Federal Money they continue to funnel into their States and Departments. They are even using the 911 emergency system as a means to target unsuspecting families by alleging that an anonymous call came in against them. Often, it is a CPS worker who made that anonymous call. This funding was put into place by Ex-President Bill Clinton in 1997 under the "Safe Families Act", Title IV, using money from the Social Security Department. There is a clear misappropriation of funds being carried out by this act, which is not only depleting the funds allocated for America’s working class retirement benefits, but is also being funneled to perpetuate this abuse of power by government employees and has become a conduit for corruption in CPS and the Family Court systems. Child Protective Services and their staff doctors are even defrauding the Medicaid programs by triple billing them for each of these kidnapped children. Example: They remove little Johnny, who is perfectly happy and healthy, have him diagnosed with Bi-polar, medicate him with psychotropic drugs he does not need, then renames this child three different times sending out the same billing for each name and receiving 4 times the reimbursements from medicaid for his treatments and medications as well as for the other fictitious names. So, if little Johnny gets sent for an MRI; $3,000.00, X 4, the doctors get $12,000.00 in reimbursements for only really doing one procedure. Parents and families are not given Due Process, Constitutional, Civil, Disability, or Basic Human Rights in this corrupt system. Parents and extended family members are not given due process, adequate council, reasonable opportunity for reunification. They are also systematically being denied their civil, constitutional, and human rights on the ‘hearsay’ and fraudulent testimony of public officers nationwide. RICO violations in the thousands are being recorded/reported, and still nothing has been done to uphold the Constitution and administer any resolve to those effected.Neither judges nor officers of the court observe parent's Civil/Constitutional Rights. These rights are blatantly ignored & denied by both officers of the court, as well as local and state government employees bound to uphold the Constitution of The United States. Thousands of families have evidence and proof of the victimization by these state agencies, and have reported these issues to: Law Enforcement,Superior CourtsCourt of AppealsState and Federal Supreme CourtsDOJ,FBI,Mayors,Governors,Senators, and even toThe President of these United States. Many of these complaints have been dismissed, despite the fact that the DOJ, ACLU, Federal, and State Supreme Courts have ruled that it is in the best interest of the child to remain with their biological parents unless faced with clear and imminent danger. Several Senators and Court Justices have also spoken out against this clear denial of parent’s Civil and Human Rights - perpetuated by officers employed and delegated to serve our great country, “AMERICA”, & ALL of HER CITIZENS. Many parents are facing gag orders if they protest this clear refusal to uphold everything this country was created to defend. We also have restraining orders levied against us, jailed, threatened, forced to sign documents, treated worse than criminals, fined, and even murdered by the very Government put into place to protect us. We, The People; have had enough. We are coming together to stand against this tyrannical Government as it clearly states in our United States Constitution put into place by our Forefathers in the 1700's as it is the only option our Government has left us with. We hope that you will read this, and address these issues, and not blow us off like all the other politicians and state officials and help us to get justice for every family and child who has been wrongfully victimized by this treasonous government. If you do not, then you to are part of the problem and just as guilty and will be held just as accountable by the American People and the Human Rights Tribunal. We Do Not Forget, We Will Not Forgive, and We Are Coming! WE THE PEOPLE DEMAND THAT OUR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT: #1. STOP THE TITLE IVe & Ve/IVd FUNDING - PROMOTING these CRIMES.#2. Open a NATION WIDE INVESTIGATION into these AGENCIES.#3. ACCOUNTABILITY for CORRUPT CPS AGENCIES & FAMILY COURTS.#4. To IMMEDIATELY RETURN the CHILDREN (WHO WERE WRONGFULLY STOLEN) to THEIR FAMILIES. #5. To IMMEDIATELY ABOLISH CPS and the FAMILY COURT SYSTEMS. Groups:Mad Angels Army, Our Children Have a Voice, Our Children Have a Voice (Oregon), We're Watching, Kids for Cash, Victims of CPS, The Coalition for Children and Families, Fight CPSAmericans Against Tyranny, Child find, OpexposeCPS-California, OpexposeCPS-Washington, OpexposeCPS-Arizona, OpexposeCPS-Arkansas, OpexposeCPS-Oregon, OpexposeCPS-New Jersey,OpexposeCPS-Alabama, OpexposeCPS-Texas,OpexposeCPS-Colorado, OpexposeCPS-Massachusetts,OpexposeCPS-Missouri, OpexposeCPS-Michigan, OpexposeCPS-Ohio, OpexposeCPS-New York, OpexposeCPS-New Hampshire, OpexposeCPS-IowaOpexposeCPS-Alaska, OpexposeCPS-Hawaii, OpexposeCPS-Mississippi, OpexposeCPS-Louisiana, OpexposeCPS-Illinois, OpexposeCPS-Tennessee, OpexposeCPS-Georgia, OpexposeCPS-Nebraska,OpexposeCPS-Nevada, OpexposeCPS-Wyomming, OpexposeCPS-Oklahoma, OpexposeCPS-Virginia,OpexposeCPS-West Virginia, OpexposeCPS-Idaho,OpexposeCPS-Maine, OpexposeCPS-Vermont, OpexposeCPS-Kentucky, OpexposeCPS-Kansas, OpexposeCPS-North Carolina, OpexposeCPS- S.C.OpexposeCPS-North Dakota, OpexposeCPS-S.D.OpexposeCPS-Florida, OpexposeCPS-Utah OpexposeCPS- Pennsylvania, OpexposeCPS-New Mexico, etal

4,168 supporters
Petitioning National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board, United States Department of the Interior

Save our Wild Mustangs, our proud living legacy! America won't be "GREAT" without them!

America's wild horse are under attack! The costly and cruel Federal program seeks to wipe out wild horses from our public land and our national legacy. In 1971, the Wild Free-Roaming horses and burros act was adopted: the Congress realized these iconic animals were fast disappearing and they acted unanimously to save them when they were only 25,000 left... BUT now, the BLM only allows a maximum of 27,000 Wild horses and Burros while there is 1 million livestock. 8 times more federally managed land is authorized for livestock grazing than wild horses. This livestock grazing cost $500 million per year to taxpayers while only 3% of America' Beef supply comes from these cattle... 70 % of the Bureau of Land Management's budget is spent on roundups and stockpiling while less than 1% is spent of fertility control and keeping horses on the range. Over 45,000 of the animals are stockpiled in government holding facilities. Now, with the new administration in place at the White House, those wild horses are in more danger than ever: in September 2016 already, the BLM National Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board recommended that the horses now in holding facilities be killed. After an uproar, the previous government maintained that the agency will "continue its current policy of caring for unadopted or unsold wild horses and burros" and will "not sell or send any animals to slaughter." However, Trump’s agricultural advisory team includes two members who have long worked toward that end: Oklahoma state senator Eddie Fields, author of a bill that overturned a 50-year-old ban on horse slaughter for human consumption, and Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, who signed the Fields bill into law. My goal with this petition is to protect America’s wild horses and burros by stopping the federal government’s systematic elimination of these national icons from our public lands, as well as to reassigned the BLM budget to focus on fertility control and adoption. It’s not too late to act to save the Mustangs! America certainly won't be "Great again" without them!  

Laurence Garnier
3,503 supporters
Petitioning United States Department of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, United States Fish & Wildlife Service, Donald Trump


Elephants are on the list of threatened species and the global community has rallied to stem the ivory trade.  Now, the U.S. government is giving American trophy hunters the green light to kill them and import the trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia. I've been to Africa and have seen these majestic and peaceful animals in their homeland ... but there were not many and their numbers are dwindling.  The photo above is of a small herd we came across while on safari in the Eastern Serengeti, along the border of Kenya and  Tanzania.  I've also been to, and support, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust ( ) in Nairobi which is an amazing organization that rescues, raises and reintegrates orphaned baby elephants who are victims of mostly poaching but some human conflict.  You have to understand - these babies are as close to human development as any other mammal.  They need love and nurturing just like our own babies.  The keepers at DSWT sleep in the stalls with the babies, who need to be fed every 3 to 4 hours for the first 3 years of their lives.  They experience trauma and PTSD just like humans and whether legal or illegal, the killing of these wild animals and their families is experienced just as if we were to witness the murder of our families. LET'S STAND UP AND HELP GIVE VOICE TO THESE BEAUTIFUL, GENTLE GIANTS AND SPEAK FOR THEM.  HELP ME SEND THE MESSAGE TO THE GOVERNMENT TO LEAVE THESE ANIMALS BE AND BAN THE IMPORT!!!

BettyAnn K
3,074 supporters
Petitioning United States Department of the Interior

Help Protect National Monuments

President Trump recently signed an executive order which forced the Department of the Interior to review the National Monuments created through the Antiquities Act, passed in 1906. The Antiquities Act allows for presidents to create National Monuments out of federal land, which protects the wildlife within the land and preserves any scientific or historical importance. This executive order could result in the dismantling of places like Giant Sequoia National Monument and Carrizo Plain National Monument, just a couple of the 54 National Monuments that could be affected by this executive order. America’s National Parks and National Monuments are incredibly beneficial not only for the wildlife within their respective regions, but for the United States’ economy. According the U.S. National Parks Service in 2011, the National Park Service generated over $13 billion and supported 252,000 jobs. Through this order, President Trump and the Department of the Interior could potentially rescind the designation for these National Monuments, allowing for state governments to exploit them for harmful drilling and mining operations. We request that no changes be made to these parks and that we continue to protect the wildlife within them.  

Jason Hou, Henry Anderson, Derek Perry
2,455 supporters
Petitioning United States Fish & Wildlife Service, United States Department of the Interior

Give the Mexican Wolf a Scientific Recovery Plan!

We applaud the efforts that the USFWS and its partners have put into recovering the critically imperiled Mexican Gray Wolf (Canis lupus baileyi). However, we have serious concerns over the recently adopted Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan (MWRP). Listed below are just three of our many worries: Under the MWRP, the range of the Mexican Gray Wolf would be restricted to south of Interstate 40 (I-40). The argument for this range restriction is that the subspecies is not native to north of I-40, and a single morphology-based study, Heffelfinger et al. (2017), is used to justify this conclusion (USFWS 2017a, USFWS 2017b). However, genetics-based studies have found that the Mexican Gray Wolf is part of a Southern Gray Wolf clade and that haplotypes from this clade have been found in historical wolves that lived as far north as Colorado and Utah; this genetic evidence suggests that the historical range of the Mexican Gray Wolf has been underestimated (Leonard et al. 2005; NCEAS 2014; Hendricks et al. 2016). In addition, suitable habitat exists for Mexican Gray Wolves in the Grand Canyon Ecoregion and the Southern Rocky Mountains, which have been recommended as reintroduction sites for the subspecies (Wayne & Hedrick 2011; Carroll et al. 2014). Scientists have previously criticized the restricted range as unscientific (NCEAS 2014), and in the peer reviews to the MWRP, the I-40 range restriction and the heavy reliance on Heffelfinger et al. (2017) to define historical range have been criticized (USFWS 2017c). Mexican Gray Wolves should not have their range restricted, and reintroductions should be considered in the Grand Canyon Ecoregion and the Southern Rocky Mountains. Under the MWRP, the recovery goal for the Mexican Gray Wolf is 320 in the USA and 200 in Mexico, for a total population size of 520 wolves distributed between two populations; genetic connectivity between these two populations is not a required criteria for recovery. In addition, a population cap of 380 in the USA is recommended (USFWS 2017a). The recovery goal is too low to ensure the survival of the Mexican Gray Wolf and contradicts recent scientific findings, which suggest that at least 750 wolves distributed among three interconnected populations are required to recover the subspecies; genetic connectivity between populations is vital for recovery (Wayne & Hedrick 2011; Carroll et al. 2014). The USFWS should either adopt this science-based suggestion as the recovery goal or use this recommendation as a basis to conduct further research into a scientifically viable recovery goal. In addition, the USFWS should completely eliminate the population cap, as this is unnecessary, unscientific, and unethical. Under the MWRP, one of the recovery criteria is that the Mexican Gray Wolf population has a 90% probability of persistence over 100 years (USFWS 2017a). While this sounds like a viable goal, this would mean that the subspecies has a 10% probability of extinction. Under the criteria for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, a 10% probability of extinction over 100 years would qualify a species as Vulnerable (VU), which is defined as "facing a high risk of extinction in the wild" (IUCN 2012). If the Mexican Gray Wolf qualifies as VU under the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species when it meets the "recovery" goals, then it is not truly recovered and is still at risk of extinction. The goal of any recovery plan should be to fully recover a species, not to place it into a less severe threatened category. The USFWS should revise this recovery criteria to better reflect what qualifies as a healthy population under the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species criteria. The purpose of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) is stated as “to provide a program for the conservation of… endangered species” (Congress 1973), with the ESA defining an Endangered species as “any species which is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range” (Congress 1973). The Mexican Gray Wolf is listed as Endangered under the ESA, and as such the USFWS is obligated to protect and recover the subspecies (Congress 1973; USFWS 2017a). The recently adopted MWRP may be a violation of the ESA since it would provide inadequate conservation actions for the Mexican Gray Wolf, and under a worst-case scenario, it could potentially result in the extinction of this Endangered subspecies. We ask that you please revise the MWRP so that it better reflects the science of what is necessary to recover the Mexican Gray Wolf. References: Carroll, C., R. Fredrickson, & R. C. Lacy. 2014. Developing metapopulation connectivity criteria from genetic and habitat data to recover the endangered Mexican wolf. Conservation Biology 28: 76 – 86. Heffelfinger, J. R., R. M. Nowak, & D. Paetkau. 2017. Clarifying historical range to aid recovery of the Mexican wolf. The Journal of Wildlife Management 81: 766 - 777. Hendricks, S. A., P. R. S. Clee, R. J. Harrigan, J. P. Pollinger, A. H. Freedman, R. Callas, P. J. Figura, & R. K. Wayne. 2016. Re-defining historical geographic range in species with parse records: implications for the Mexican wolf reintroduction program. Biological Conservation 194: 48 – 57. IUCN. (2012). IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria: Version 3.1. Second Edition. Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK: IUCN. Iv + 32pp. Lenk, H. 2017. Struggle for existence: Mexican gray wolves in the American Southwest. BS thesis. Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona. Leonard, J. A., C. Vila, & R. K. Wayne. 2005. Legacy lost: genetic variability and population size of extirpated US grey wolves (Canis lupus). Molecular Ecology 14: 9 – 17. NCEAS (National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis). 2014. Review of proposed rule regarding status of the wolf under the Endangered Species Act. University of California. US Congress. 1973. Endangered Species Act. 16 U.S.C. <> USFWS (United States Fish and Wildlife Service). 2003. Endangered and threatened wildlife and plants; final rule to reclassify and remove the gray wolf from the list of endangered and threatened wildlife in portions of the conterminous United States; establishment of two special regulations for threatened gray wolves. USFWS (United States Fish and Wildlife Service). 2017a. Mexican wolf recovery plan, first revision. USFWS (United States Fish and Wildlife Service). 2017b. Biological report for the Mexican wolf (Canis lupus baileyi). USFWS (United States Fish and Wildlife Service). 2017c. Comments on the draft biological report (May 1, 2017) for the Mexican wolf (Canis lupus baileyi). Wayne, R., & P. Hedrick. 2011. Genetics and wolf conservation in the American west: lessons and challenges. Heredity 107: 16 – 19.

Heather L.
2,138 supporters