A Bi-weekly Update from Defenders of Wildlife: Working to Save Wildlife and Wild Lands
September 18, 2002

1.  ANOTHER FOX IN THE HENHOUSE: Official with bizarre views to run forest fire plan

Environmentalists have been saying all along that the Bush administration's so-called Healthy Forests initiative is a poorly disguised attempt to open more of our few remaining pristine woodlands to logging. For evidence, just look at who's been appointed to head the program -- Allan Fitzsimmons, a policy analyst for ultraconservative "think tanks." Fitzsimmons has criticized religious groups for embracing the importance of biological diversity. He once wrote that if all 1,200 of the species listed as endangered or threatened in this country were to go extinct tomorrow, it "would be a disconcerting loss but would not constitute a crisis."

The Senate could vote this week on the Bush plan to heavily log our national forests in the name of fire prevention. Environmentalists are for protecting people and property by clearing small trees and brush near communities, but the administration wants to chop down large trees deep in our forests to enrich the timber industry. Urge your senators to oppose the Bush plan. If you haven't already, visit www.denaction.org and respond to Alert #181.

2.  OPEN SEASON ON WOLVES: Wyoming would kill them like jackrabbits or skunks

Wyoming's politicians are making their true feelings known toward endangered gray wolves. They want to allow the unrestricted killing of these magnificent animals throughout most of the state. To make hunting legal, the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission has voted to seek an end to federal protections for wolves. "That means the wolf could be killed anytime, anywhere, and by any means - the same as a coyote, jackrabbit or skunk ..." the Associated Press reports. Send a petition to Interior Secretary Gale Norton urging her not to strip wolves of their federal protections.

3.  JENNINGS RESPONDS: Outpouring of protests prompts reply from ABC News anchor

ABC's one-sided report on wolves in Idaho, giving voice to extremists who want to kill them, is fueling anti-wolf fanatics like those in Wyoming. The ABC report has prompted an outpouring of protests from DEN members and other wildlife supporters. ABC News was hit with so many e-mails that Peter Jennings was forced to respond. If you were angry when you saw the program, wait until you read Jennings' e-mail. Tell ABC and Jennings that you support saving America's wolves for future generations. Make your voice heard!

4.  BEARS NEED YOUR HELP: 'Adopt' a bear to help save creatures of the forest

"Adopt" a black or brown bear today and help save a life! Bears are threatened by the Bush administration's attempts to clear-cut our forests. Defenders is leading efforts to save the creatures of the forest, but we need your help. Your sponsorship donation will help support our efforts to safeguard bears and the forests they call home. To "adopt" a bear, visit our Wildlife Adoption Center.

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5.  SAVE KENAI REFUGE: Big Oil targets pristine land in Alaska

While the Senate is refusing for now to allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Big Oil is targeting a pristine corner of another Alaska wildlife refuge - Kenai. The Kenai peninsula is known as "little Alaska" because it contains every geologic feature and wildlife habitat found in the rest of the state - and most of the species as well. Part of the refuge is already marred by oil and gas drilling, and that has resulted in hundreds of thousands of gallons of toxic spills. Help save this spectacular land from more for-profit exploitation. Go to www.denaction.org and respond to Alert #185.

6.  RESCUING THE SWIFT FOX: 20 more of speedy animals released into wild

Twenty swift foxes were released last week onto the Blackfeet Indian Reservation on the high plains of northern Montana -- part of Defenders of Wildlife's efforts to rescue the animal from extinction in that state. Nearly 140 swift foxes have now been freed into the wild since 1998, and they are well on their way to reclaiming their niche on more than a million acres of tribal land. "It is very encouraging to know that these foxes are once again roaming the grasslands where they belong," Defenders of Wildlife President Rodger Schlickeisen said. Read our interview with Defenders of Wildlife's Minette Johnson about this innovative project.

7.  CARNIVORES 2002: Scientists to speak at Defenders' conference

Defenders of Wildlife is sponsoring a major three-day conference on marine and terrestrial carnivores. Called "Carnivores 2002 - From the Mountains to the Sea: A Conference on Carnivore Biology and Conservation," it will be held Nov. 17-20 in Monterey, Calif. It will bring together top scientists, natural resource agency personnel, educators and advocates to discuss carnivore conservation and biology. Get more information.

8.  ONE-MAN CRUSADE: He's trying to save turtles of Lake Jackson

Matt Aresco, a student at Florida State University, has launched a one-man crusade to save the turtles around Lake Jackson. According to Matt, more turtles are killed crossing U.S. Highway 27 than on any other road in North America. He knows because he's counted them. In one afternoon alone, he found 90 dead turtles on the road. "They wander into the road, and they get hammered. It's just a cruel way for a turtle to die," he told the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper. Matt is asking the Leon County Commission to build underground culverts to help turtles and other wildlife cross the highway safely. We'll keep you posted on developments. Get more information.


DENlines is a bi-weekly update of Defenders of Wildlife, a leading national conservation organization recognized as one of the nation's most progressive advocates for wildlife and its habitat. It is known for its effective leadership on endangered species issues, particularly predators such as brown bears and gray wolves. Defenders also advocates new approaches to wildlife conservation that protect species before they become endangered. Founded in 1947, Defenders is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization with more than 400,000 members and supporters.

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