Yesterday, Western Watersheds Project created a page on Facebook ! You can help Western Watersheds Project protect and restore western watersheds and wildlife by becoming a Facebook 'fan' of Western Watersheds Project, 'Suggesting' our page to 'Friends', and by 'Sharing' WWP updates as they happen :
2009 has been a year of positive change. A new president and administration have brought new emphasis on environmental quality. Where challenges to environmental quality exist, WWP continues to influence policy through education, public policy initiatives and litigation.
WWP is funded by the financial contributions of our members and supporters, and without your help we could not carry out our critically important and successful work to protect and restore western watersheds and wildlife. Here is a sampling of our 2009 successes, made possible by the continuing contributions of our supporters:
Western Watersheds Project, leading a coalition of conservation groups, Native Americans, and Montanans, are suing the National Park Service for their role in slaughtering 3,300 wild American bison that inhabit Yellowstone National Park. Approximately 3,000 bison remain in Yellowstone today because of aggressive population control implemented under the controversial Interagency Bison Management Plan (IBMP) adopted nine years ago. The lawsuit asserts that the Park Service is violating its statutory mission to preserve wild bison and "leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations."
Western Watersheds Project and its co-plaintiffs have succesfully settled litigation against the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, providing much better protections for the Mexican Gray Wolf in Arizona and New Mexico. The wild lobo is the most endangered mammal in North America with only 50 animals left in the wild. For years Mexican Gray Wolf restoration efforts have been undermined by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's capitulation to public land ranchers in New Mexico and Arizona. By initiating litigation in federal court in Arizona, Western Watersheds Project mitigated the federal government's mismanagement of Mexican Wolves.
Western Watersheds Project's Arizona Office was granted Summary Judgment by Judge Harvey C. Sweitzer in a successful appeal of a Western Arizona grazing permit decision issued by the Bureau of Land Management. Judge Sweitzer agreed with WWP that the BLM violated the National Environmental Policy Act on the Byner Complex. The 98,736 acres of public lands in the Byner Complex encompass a range of vegetation communities, including Joshua trees and saguaros, and provide habitat for Southwestern willow flycatcher, bald eagle, yellow-billed cuckoo, Sonoran desert tortoise, and other native and imperiled wildlife. The Big Sandy River passes through the Big Sandy allotment, and numerous seeps and springs and ephemeral washes occur on all of the allotments.
Judge B. Lynn Winmill of the Federal District Court for Idaho ruled in favor of Western Watersheds Project and two co-plaintiffs, halting domestic sheep grazing on the Bureau of Land Management’s Partridge Creek sheep grazing allotment east of Riggins, Idaho. Judge Winmill’s ruling marks the very first successful effort to protect Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep from disease spread by domestic sheep grazing on Bureau of Land Management administered public lands.
The inauguration of Barack Obama on January 20, 2009 started a new era in public land management. Unfortunately, uncertainty regarding the future of public lands and wildlife came from the appointments of Ken Salazar as Secretary of the Interior and Tom Vilsack as Secretary of Agriculture. Both of these politicians have lengthy backgrounds entwined with traditional extractive users of public lands.
Regionally, public land streams continue to be degraded by cattle. Rivers are diverted and drained of water to support environmentally, legally and financially unsustainable grazing practices. Observing, recording, and changing this kind of irresponsible management takes dedicated staff and good lawyers. Through your continued support, we will have the tools we need.
As of November 2009, WWP had 23 full and part-time payroll and contract staff at work across the west. Western Watersheds Project currently has offices in Arizona, California, Montana, Utah, Idaho and Wyoming and in addition we are bringing better management to public lands on National Forests and BLM public landscapes in South Dakota, Washington, Oregon, Colorado and Nevada.
2009 has been a remarkable year for WWP. We look forward to an even more productive year with greatly improved relationships with the federal land managers across the west in 2010.
Please support WWP with a generous end-of-the-year contribution at WWP’s secure donation web page :
With WWP's best wishes for the New Year !