The Rocky Mountain Wolf Project is committed to restoring the gray wolf to the great National Forests and other public wildlands in western Colorado. After the successful reintroduction of gray wolves into the greater Yellowstone ecosystem, there’s just one missing link in the Rocky Mountains—one state whose public lands are still haunted by the missing howl: Colorado. Join our mission and help build our movement by spreading awareness and donating what YOU can to reestablish the wolf in western Colorado. Click here for more information.
Behind every species fighting to survive, are the people dedicated to their protection. We persist, so that nature prevails.
What is lost in the chatter today is a deeper understanding of the philosophy and science behind the push for a much larger, biodiverse network of protected wildlands and waters. In the last year, Rewilding Earth has greatly ramped up our output from thought leaders who tackle the issues with deeper, more thoughtful writing than what gets bandied about on this day in headlines and tweets.Our aim is to deepen the discussion around large-scale conservation efforts to restore and rewild our planet.
Introducing “Rewilding Earth Unplugged: Best of Rewilding Earth 2018”
An anthology of thirty key articles and associated graphics, addressing fundamental goals of rewilding, including restoring top carnivores, protecting landscape-scale wildways, addressing the human overpopulation crisis, and encouraging coexistence with wildlife species, particularly the big toothy ones. It will connect readers with many of the leading wilderness and wildlife groups across North America and beyond.
Click here to hear a message about Rewilding Earth Unplugged from our Director, John Davis, about how you can grab your copy while helping to put it in front of many other readers who have yet to gain that deeper understanding.
(Trigger warning: Politically incorrect thoughts are expressed below. Please do what you have to do to keep yourself safe.)
The public lands conservation community has long been wary of the existential threat to the nation’s public lands posed by a fringe group of right-wing crazies who seek to privatize public lands (perhaps via a brief period of state or county ownership). The conservation community must now also contend with an emerging existential threat to the nation’s public lands posed by fringe groups of left-wing crazies who seek to tribalize public lands. Neither privatization nor tribalization of the nation’s public lands would be in the interests of this and future generations of Americans.
Right-Wing Crazies Get Their Day in Court (Again)
The playbook of the right-wing crazies is well known and is currently best epitomized by the ravings and actions of Cliven Bundy, his sons, and their followers. I deeply examined the bunk of Bundyism in four Public Lands Blog posts (#1, #2, #3, and #4) in early 2018. Even more illuminating and entertaining than my analysis is Oregon Public Broadcasting’s and Longread’s excellent seven-part series entitled “Bundyville,” available from your favorite podcast purveyor or you can have a long read.
Recently a state court in Nevada, upon the motion of defendant-intervenor Center for Biological Diversity, dismissed Bundy’s latest (alas, it probably won’t be his last) legal gambit. Bundy has tried and lost the same claims in federal court three times. The Clark County, Nevada, judge said, “It is simply delusional to maintain that all public land within the boundaries of Nevada belongs to the State of Nevada.” But enough on that; back to the other end of the spectrum.
Left-Wing Crazies Rising
Let us now examine some of those on the other end of the political spectrum who favor the disposal of federal public lands for far different reasons but with comparably disastrous results for the multiple values of the public’s land. This extreme left-wing idea is to return all public lands (but not private lands) to Native Americans.
I do not include in my categorization of left-wing extremists either Native Americans or Native American tribes. While most tribes and tribal members may well want the nation’s public lands (not to mention private lands) returned to them, such a desire arises from the pain, suffering, and loss of being on the losing side of a tragic and sordid history that resulted in the death of most of their ancestors by bullet, rope, disease, or starvation—and that continues to oppress them today. According to the “settler” (the preferred term to describe the European invaders) concept of land ownership, Native Americans had their lands stolen from them, and it is understandable that they should want them back.
I do include in my categorization of left wing-extremists those whose desire arises from guilt at being on the winning side of the European conquest of a continent and its indigenous peoples and who seek to assuage that guilt by advocating giving public lands back to Native Americans while remaining silent on private lands. Read more.
The only Wilderness Conference focusing on Europe’s last Wilderness will be held May 27-29, 2019 in the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Salzburg Lungau. In 2019 we honour 5 years of European Wilderness Society, 10 years of Wilderness in Europe and 55 years of the US Wilderness Act. Join us!
For more information click here.
Zebras about to cross the Mara River, Kenya Today, NWNL Director Alison M Jones will give a joint presentation in New York City with Serengeti Preservation Foundation Director, Meyasi Mollel. They will discuss Africa’s Serengeti-Mara Ecosystem, its threats, and a variety of solutions to protect the wildlife and ecosystems within this renowned Read more.
By Isabelle Bienen, NWNL Research Intern
(Edited by Alison M. Jones, NWNL Director)
Clean Water Act (1972)
A 1960’s growing concern over the need to control water pollution led to the 1972 Clean Water Act [CWA], as noted in the first NWNL blog of this series. The 1972 CWA (originally, Federal Water Pollution Control Act) established a structure for Federal regulation of pollutants discharge into US surface waters. [It does not apply to well water or aquifers]. The CWA prohibits any individual, unless permitted, to discharge pollutants from point sources (versus broader nonpoint sources) into Waters of the United States [WOTUS].
Point pollution sources are specific, identifiable entry points of pollution, i.e., ditches or pipes that dump pollutants from one specific spot directly into a navigable waterway. Notably, the 1972 Act did not address or allow for control of nonpoint pollution sources, i.e. runoff from rural farmland, urban storm/sewage, construction sites or forests .1 (Nonpoint pollution would be addressed in 1977, and again in 1987.)
Changes and Amendments to the Clean Water Act of 1972
- WOTUS Rule-1977 (nonpoint pollution regulations & WOTUS definition)
- Municipal Wastewater Treatment Construction Grants-1981
- CWA Amendment-1987 (transfer of control to states and tribes)
- Clean Water Rule-2015 (definition of 1972 CWA & WOTUS-1977 coverage)
- Steps One & Two-2017 (repeal & revision of Clean Water Rule-2015)
- Applicability Date Ruling-2017 (setting pre-2015 rules until new 2020 rule)
Both the WOTUS-1977 and -2015 rulings were outlined to clarify the original CWA. Basically, they addressed existing confusion over the term “navigable waters.”9
The CWA defines ‘navigable waters” as “waters of the United States, including the territorial seas.” But “waters of the United States” is not specifically defined in the CWA. Court decisions, regulations and agency policies have established that “waters of the United States” applies only to surface waters, not groundwater, including rivers, lakes, estuaries, coastal waters, and some wetlands. In inland areas, those waters include:
- All interstate waters;
- Intrastate waters used in interstate and/or foreign commerce;
- Tributaries of the above; and
- Wetlands adjacent to all the above.
The law is less clear in regard to smaller streams, ephemeral water bodies, and wetlands not adjacent to other waters of the United States. While groundwater is not included as a navigable water, discharges to groundwater, directly connected to a surface water, are sometimes included in NPDES permits. [NPDES: EPA’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System.]
Waters of the US Rule [WOTUS]-1977
The term WOTUS and its regulatory scope were first developed in 1977, five years after the Clean Water Act addressed the need for protection and inclusion of all “navigable water.” WOTUS-1977 attempted to define “navigable waters” so as to establish the Act’s jurisdictional scope. It addressed tribal and state certification programs, polluting permits, and waste-spill prevention.6
Water Quality Act-1987 gave control to the States
In 1987, CWA changed responsibility for water-quality regulation, implementation and monitoring from federal to individual state control. This switch was built on the EPA’s established state partnerships and the Clean Water State Revolving Fund.1 CWA regulations were set up state-by-state; yet the EPA kept the authority to step in if water-quality standards were not being met. Read more.
Bob and Charlotte Baron with Joseph Bruchac at the May 16, 2018 Authors Guild Foundation Event in New York City.
CREDIT MELANIE ROTH
ILCW members (USA) Bob and Charlotte Baron were recently honored, along with their company Fulcrum Publishing (Golden, Colorado), by the Authors Guild Foundation in New York City. They were presented the Award for Distinguished Service to the Literary Community. Bob is also cofounder of the International League of Conservation Writers. Other ILCW members on hand for the presentation were: Joseph Bruchac, who introduced the Barons, Bruchac is the author of many books on Native American stories and culture; Vance Martin, President of the WILD Foundation; Elizabeth Darby, author and contributor to numerous magazines; Larry Schweiger, past president of the National Wildlife Federation; and Patty Maher, author and magazine contributor.
Click here to view events of that evening.
Global Release of award-Winning Film
BLOOD LIONS on Ecostreamz
Blood Lions, the film that exposes the cruelty for profit of the canned hunting industry by the shooting of captive-bred lions in enclosures, will now be released worldwide on the new streaming platform http://www.ecostreamz.com. The film was produced not only to create global awareness around the captive lion breeding and canned hunting industry in South Africa – where thousands of lions are mass bred to be killed each year for large profits – but it is also a “call to action” to tourists and young international volunteers when visiting that country. Jim Branchflower, founder and CEO of Ecostreamz, said, “For some, lions are just a commodity, cruelly abused to make money from cub-petting, canned hunting and selling their bones for traditional Chinese medicine. We are proud to play a role in this important campaign to end their suffering. Any caring person who watches Blood Lions will want to back the campaign to ban the practice.”
To watch the film or the trailer.
For more information:
Ecostreamz and firstname.lastname@example.org
Showmax for South Africa.
Blood Lions and info.
WILD 11 in China, late 2019
The following graphic illustrates why China was chosen for the location of WILD 11 (the 11th World Wilderness Congress). For additional information click here.
Click here to print this infographic.
. . . . . .