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Earth Island News

Earth Island Project Reports

In the 1990s, 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Earth became a best-selling book, with five million copies in print. Author John Javna and his children, Sophie and Jesse, have re-written the book for the 21st century, and the book hit stores this past spring.

Earth Island Institute’s International Marine Mammal Project (IMMP) is featured in the chapter “Save the Whales ... Again.” The section features Earth Island’s Dolphin Safe tuna label (asking readers to look for tuna cans without the Dolphin Safe label and alert us so we can have the cans removed from store shelves), IMMP’s work at the International Whaling Commission, and efforts to stop Japan’s slaughter of dolphins. For ideas on how to help save whales and dolphins, visit www.50simplethings.com and www.earthisland.org/immp/50whale.

Each year, an estimated 30,000 bears are killed illegally in the US. Most are poached to feed the lucrative black market for bear parts, especially their gallbladders, commonly used in traditional Asian medicines. Although alternatives to bear gallbladders exist in traditional medicines, demand for bear parts is soaring. As Asian bear populations have plummeted, poachers are turning to bears in the US to satisfy this underground market. Poachers target hibernating bears in their dens and even track radio-collared bears that are part of scientific studies.

Recently introduced federal legislation can help put an end to this disturbing trend. US Representatives Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) and John Campbell (R-CA) have proposed legislation that will help bears by banning the trade in gallbladders. The Bear Protection Act will end a patchwork of state laws that creates an enforcement nightmare and allows the illegal killing of bears to continue.

Support Big Wildlife’s campaign to end all trophy hunting of bears, and urge your representatives to co-sponsor the Bear Protection Act (H.R. 5534), a bill that would help save America’s bears.

Billy Parish of Energy Action Network started a record label with three friends about a year and a half ago. The group’s first major project has recently been released. “The Green Owl Comp: A Benefit for Energy Action Coalition” includes exclusive, donated tracks and videos from a number of great artists, and has gotten excellent reviews. All profits go to Energy Action. You can download the cd/dvd at www.greenowlrecords.com or purchase it at record stores or Whole Foods.

The Campaign to Safeguard Alaska’s Waters (C-SAW), following its successful campaign to place Ocean Rangers on cruise ships in Alaska (see page 39), has sponsored a California Ocean Ranger bill (SB1582). The bill would place marine engineers and public safety officers on cruise ships to ensure compliance with California’s zero-discharge rule, and to investigate (and reduce) the high rates of robberies, rapes, and disappearances on cruise ships. SB1582 will soon be on the Senate floor for a vote and then will move to the California Assembly. Please contact your senators and assemblymen and tell them you support SB1582.

Primal Nature/Yggdrasil has launched Big Wilderness, a new section of its Web site, to present visionary ideas and proposals concerning the nation’s remaining wild lands. The first posting is “Voices for a National Pleistocene Reserve”, advocating protection of the largest unprotected expanse of public land in the US – the 23.5 million acres in the Arctic that now constitute the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.

The authors, John Davis, co-founder of Wild Earth and a member of the Primal Nature team, and John Meikle, an Alaskan conservationist, traversed the reserve last summer. They found that Arctic Alaska, with its “full range of native species” and Ice Age fossils, is as close as we can come to an intact Pleistocene landscape. They were, however, dismayed by the extent of melting permafrost. Stopping extraction of oil and gas would protect wildlife directly and would slow the warming that threatens it.

A technical review of a proposed high voltage power line by the Environmental Ministry’s National Commission of Natural Protected Areas shows that a high voltage transmission line proposed by Mexico’s Federal Commission of Electricity (CFE) to cut across the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve will not benefit the region. Rather, this line will form an energy loop through the northeast to supply Mexico City. The integrity of a World Biosphere Reserve is at stake, as well as vital habitat of macaws and jaguars. Join Viva Sierra Gorda’s letter campaign against the proposed power line at www.vivasierragorda.org.

   

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