176 petitions

This petition won 4 days ago

Petition to Lansing Illinois School District 158 School Board

Delay the Coolidge chimney demolition until October for the Chimney Swifts.

The original Coolidge Elementary School building was built in 1928. A decision was made in 2016 to build a new school on the same property. The new building is needed and will serve our children well. But demolishing the original structure—specifically the large, brick chimney—will displace more than 300 chimney swifts who migrate there each year and spend the summer building nests, raising their young, and preparing them for the return flight to Peru. Chimney swifts are a federally protected species of bird. Their populations are in decline because of urban development and widespread use of insecticides. The colony of swifts that returns to Coolidge each year is unique because of its size, and it has become something of a sight-seeing and community-building attraction in recent weeks. Moreover, swifts provide a valuable ecological service—they eat about a third of their weight in insects every day. And they are models of effective community, with adult birds working together to raise the young. Their evening chatter as they return to the roost each dusk is an encouragement not only to members of the bird colony, but also to their human neighbors in the surrounding community. We would like for decision-makers at Lansing School District 158 to see the Coolidge chimney swifts as a unique opportunity to be leveraged rather than a problem to be eliminated. With some reimagining of the plans and some readjusting of the construction schedule, the old chimney (and possibly the surrounding structure) could become a permanent nesting site for the birds and an education resource for the surrounding community. Repurposing some of the existing structure would result in fewer parking spots in the proposed parking lot, but imagine having a small learning center with information about swifts, ecology, migration, Peru, and even some history of the old school and the old chimney. Community interest in the birds is already growing steadily, and with a little marketing, and some tie-ins to Fox Pointe, the Coolidge chimney swifts could attract birders, environmentalists, and curious families from throughout the area. That’s our dream and our hope, but without access to the building, it’s difficult to get a sense of how feasible such an idea is. If it’s not possible to transform the existing structure into a habitat and learning center, we are hoping a new structure could be incorporated on the site—a makeshift Chimney Swift Tower that the colony could begin using next year. The timing is critical. The Coolidge chimney swifts arrive each March, spend the summer in Lansing, and then depart in October to return to Peru. This year’s swifts have already begun laying their eggs, and in July the eggs will begin hatching. If construction continues, those eggs and fledglings will be destroyed. The fledglings need all summer to develop the strength for their return migration. We would like for District 158 to take that into account and modify the timetable for the demolition they have planned. Will you join us in being a voice for these birds? Will you join us in saving this large, social family of swifts, this colony that is unique to Lansing? Please sign this petition and join your neighbors in asking District 158 to modify their plans and make a home for the Coolidge chimney swifts.

Julie Blackwood
1,289 supporters
Update posted 2 weeks ago

Petition to Dan Fowler, Dagmar Wood, Representative Kevin Corlew, Senator Rob Schaaf, Jeanette Cowherd, Jennifer Frazier, Teresa Loar

Preserve the Line Creek Forest

Help save “The Last Forest,” also known as the forest that surrounds the Line Creek Trail. For more information and details, please visit Beginning in 2018, part of the forest will be eliminated for two schools, parking lots and sports fields, and Kansas City’s long-term plan is to replace the rest of the forest with a parkway, retail shops and more housing developments.The Last Forest is approximately 800-acres of forest and meadows in southern Platte County Missouri and Kansas City North.  Besieged by suburban sprawl, it is bordered on the north by NW Barry Road; on the south by 68th Street; on the east by N. Platte Purchase Drive, NW 76th Street, and N. Coventry Avenue; and on the west by Green Hills Road.  It is one of the last of its kind in Kansas City’s Northland: a large swath of old forested area that people pass through as they enjoy the wonderful Line Creek Trail. The Last Forest is a uniquely peaceful place that provides quality of life to the urban citizens in Platte County, the fastest growing county in Missouri. It is where families and community members go to walk, run, bike, to seek peace and solitude, to watch wildlife, and to just find a moment of quiet, quality time.The Last Forest offers a diverse ecological environment for animals and plants and has become a haven for those evicted from their natural habitats by the viral spread of gas stations, subdivisions, roads, strip malls, and commercial development.  But in the spring of 2018 the Park Hill School District plans to begin construction on schools, sports fields, and parking lots. The City of Kansas City Missouri has drawn future proposed plans to build a multi-lane parkway through the heart of the “Last Forest.”  While both of these plans would make money for private interests and politicians, they would also bring more roads, more traffic, more suburban sprawl, more commercial strip malls, more residential density, and more people. Eradicating the forest means that water runoff and flooding previously absorbed and managed naturally by the forest would now be forced onto city streets and need to be maintained by the city and its taxpayers.And The Last Forest would be gone. Forever.Please read the petition below and add your voice to help save The Last Forest You can make a difference.  FULL PETITIONWe, being either concerned citizens, and/or residents of the State of Missouri, and/or residents of the County of Platte County Missouri, and/or residents of the City of the Kansas City Missouri, respectfully petition: The Missouri Department of Conservation The Park Hill School District  The City of Kansas City Missouri The State of Missouri The County of Platte County Missouri to preserve “The Last Forest”, the 800 acres of forest that surrounds the Line Creek Trail.   To the Missouri Department of Conservation, by and through its Director, employees, agents, and representatives (hereafter “MDOC”):For the purpose of creating and preserving a natural conservation area in “The Last Forest” area, we respectfully petition the MDOC to: Evaluate and assess “The Last Forest” acreage for its public access recreation qualities, including, but not limited to, public recreational activities, trails, water bodies, wetlands, and any other amenities appropriate to MDOC conservation areas; Acquire ownership or control of all suitable, contiguous undeveloped and underdeveloped acreage situated within the boundaries of “The Last Forest”; Contact and engage eligible property owners of “The Last Forest” in the Missouri Outdoor Recreational Access Program (MRAP); Contact and negotiate with any eligible property owners regarding land gifts to the MDOC for the benefit of “The Last Forest”; Identify and engage any possible governmental agencies in the acquisition and preservation of “The Last Forest";  Identify and engage any possible non-governmental agencies in the acquisition and preservation of “The Last Forest"; Identify and utilize any possible grant money for the enhancement and benefit of the "The Last Forest"; Advise, consult, and partner with the PHSD to assist the school district while it designs and plans environmentally friendly facilities for the purpose of having the smallest possible environmental “footprint”; to avoid and mitigate the destruction of the currently existing natural areas; to build in harmony with the natural land; and to mitigate impacts on the Line Creek Valley watershed. To the Park Hill School District and its elected representatives, decision-makers, employees, and agents (hereafter “PHSD”):We respectfully petition the PHSD to: Plan, design, and build its elementary school within “The Last Forest” with the goal of minimizing and mitigating the environmental impact of the development;  Postpone any additional construction activities in “The Last Forest” area until the demands of this Petition are resolved; Reconsider the location of the LEAD center, high school and sports fields and not continue with plans to build these facilities on “The Last Forest” property; Engage, consult, and hire competent and experienced environmental land use planners to design and plan PHSD’s facilities; To research environmental friendly technologies and building construction techniques that have been employed by other school districts to mitigate the environmental impact of PHSD’s development and to integrate those measures into its planning and construction; To cooperatively partner with the Missouri Dept. of Conservation and any other governmental agencies to meet the goal of mitigating the environmental impact of PHSD’s planned developments; To cooperatively partner with citizen and non-governmental groups to meet the goal of mitigating the environmental impact of PHSD’s planned developments; To donate or sell any land in excess of what is needed for PHSD’s facilities to supplement the creation of “The Last Forest” as a conservation area, or alternatively, to place conservation easements on the excess land. To support and facilitate the creation of "The Last Forest" as a conservation area. To the City of Kansas City, Missouri, by and through its elected representatives, staff, employees, and representatives (hereafter “KCMO”):We respectfully petition KCMO to: Relocate the route of the proposed but unbuilt, unpermitted, and unfunded Line Creek Parkway out of “The Last Forest” area; To prohibit any future zoning or permitting that would allow construction or environmental despoliation within “The Last Forest” area; Donate for inclusion in "The Last Forest" conservation area the 23.25 acres owned by KCMO (identified as Platte County Assessor’s Office parcel #19-5.0-16-000-000-013.000); and To support and facilitate the creation of "The Last Forest" as a conservation area. To District 34 Missouri State Senator Rob Schaaf and District 14 Missouri State Representative Kevin Corlew: We respectfully petition District 34 Missouri State Senator Rob Schaaf and District 14 Missouri State Representative Kevin Corlew to: Undertake any legislative actions that would support, aid, facilitate, and fund the creation of "The Last Forest" conservation area; Identify and engage any federal and state governmental agencies to aid in the acquisition, creation, and preservation of the "Last Forest" as a conservation area;  Identify and engage any citizen’s groups and/or non-governmental agencies to aid in the acquisition, creation, and preservation of "The Last Forest" as a conservation area; Identify and secure any State of Missouri public funds for the acquisition, creation, enhancement, and maintenance of "The Last Forest” as a conservation area. To Platte County Missouri Board of Commissioners:We respectfully petition the Platte County Missouri Board of Commissioners, specifically 1st District Commissioner Dagmar Wood, to: Undertake any county legislative actions that would support, aid, encourage, facilitate, and fund the creation of "The Last Forest" conservation area; Identify and engage any County of Platte County Missouri departments and boards to support, aid, encourage, and fund the creation of "The Last Forest" conservation area;  Identify and engage any federal and state governmental agencies to aid in the acquisition, creation, and preservation of "The Last Forest" as a conservation area;  Identify and engage any citizen’s groups and/or non-governmental agencies to aid in the acquisition, creation, and preservation of "The Last Forest" as a conservation area; and Identify and secure any County of Platte County Missouri funds, including but not limited to Parks and Recreation funds generated from the Platte County Parks tax, for the acquisition, creation, enhancement, and maintenance of "The Last Forest” conservation area.

Julie Stutterheim
11,751 supporters
Update posted 3 weeks ago

Petition to Gov. Matt Mead

Stop Wyoming's Grizzly Bear Hunt

 We ask that you intervene on behalf of Yellowstone’s imperiled grizzly bears as their survival is being jeopardized by thoughtless game managers from the states of Wyoming and Idaho, and possibly Montana in the near future. Trophy hunts organized by Wyoming and Idaho have put the declining species in an even more perilous position than before and stopping these hunts by restoring Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections for the bears would be the right thing to do to ensure the long-term survival of this unique bear population. Yellowstone grizzlies have recovered from near extinction. However, Wyoming’s own Game and Fish Chief Warden, Brian Nesvik sees a potential hunt as “part of the success story” of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem’s grizzly population. The recovering of grizzly populations is a result of protections.  Without those protections and a policy of peaceful coexistence, grizzlies could disappear again. In the 1970's, hunters and trappers decimated grizzly bear populations across the US. Today grizzly bears face even more threats from climate, habitat loss, development, mining and an increase in deaths by automobiles. A hunt this time could mean they may never recover. Hunting has never helped grizzly bear populations recover in any part of North America, and despite their claim to be the “best conservationists” hunters have rarely helped grizzlies survive, both directly and indirectly (Raincoast Conservation Foundation).   How can we trust that any hunt will be conducted in a conservative manner when it would be lacking scientific merit?We see the transparent interests at play in pursuing this hunt: ranchers, trophy hunters, and opportunistic mining companies and developers. We will not stand by as these self-serving interests greedily advance their personal agendas. A hunt would not only disturb the balance of nature, but it would have negative consequences for eco-tourism. With grizzly bears serving as the main draw, “government and independent economists have placed the combined value of nature-based tourism in Yellowstone and Grand Teton at close to one billion dollars annually. (NPS 2016 Report) The wildlife managers also fail to put in the importance of whitebark pine to grizzly bears. During years of high production, as much as 50-80% of the grizzly’s diet is comprised of whitebark pine nuts (per a 1991 study by D.J. Mattson). While the bears can adapt to an absence of whitebark pine in years when production is low, the absence of the pine as food can increase encounters with humans. Whitebark pine stands in Yellowstone typically grow higher than 7000 feet, away from the majority of tourists that visit Yellowstone, and when pine production is good fewer bears come into conflict with humans because their main food source is growing on high, remote mountain slopes. When production is low, bears leave the high country to seek other food sources and come into conflict with humans more. And when bears come into conflict with humans more, the bears always come up on the losing side. In 2017, 48 grizzly bears died due to human-related causes, part of an estimated 175 bears that have died from 2014-2017 due to conflicts with humans. As a result of this, the Yellowstone grizzly population is currently on the decline. Hunting the population will not help keep it under control; it will only hasten the population’s decline. (Louisa Wilcox, Missoulian) Bears are self-regulating animals that do not, despite hunters’ claims, need to be controlled through hunting.  Clearly, the motivation for a Wyoming bear hunt is recreational, trophy hunting. It serves no biological or conservation purpose. We must commit to conserving wildlife and protect it for the benefit of all Americans and future generations. Unscientific hunts directly oppose conservation efforts. On Thursday, March 22, 2018, Idaho’s Fish and Game Commission voted for a hunt that would allow for the glory killing of one male grizzly bear. This is a totally senseless and unjustified action on behalf of an agency that prides itself on conservation and touts the grizzly bears' recovery as a success. When the Yellowstone grizzly bears lost their federal protections, the grizzly bears' future landed in the hands of three neighboring States, Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho. Montana voted against a grizzly bear hunting season. Wyoming is moving forward with plans to slaughter 24 grizzly bears this fall and Idaho has set its sights on one male grizzly bear. What good do they think killing one male bear would do? This will have no effect on the population, positive or negative, and will only serve to allow a hunter to put a hide on his wall for bragging rights. Grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone area are challenged with ever-growing threats such as habitat loss, human-caused fatalities, loss of vital food sources, and now trophy hunting. The fact is this hunt has nothing to do with necessity or science, but rather an agency catering to special interest groups and offering them an opportunity to "bag" their trophy grizzly. If Idaho moves forward with a hunting season, it will be the first hunt since 1975, when grizzlies were listed as a federally protected species under the Endangered Species Act. We respectfully recommend that you do the right thing and intervene on behalf of the bears by restoring ESA protections for the Yellowstone population before the beginning of the fall hunt in Idaho and Wyoming. The bears of Yellowstone are in enough peril already and allowing a trophy hunt will only hasten their decline and will do nothing to protect them. It would be of great service to Yellowstone’s ecosystem and the millions of people who delight in seeing these bears in their natural habitat to cancel this fall hunt and restore protections for the bears until we can be assured that human disturbance is having no negative effect on the bear population, and a more science-based assessment of the bears’ status is conducted by federal or state governments.     -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- NPS Report:  

221,671 supporters