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IslandWire: May 18, 2023

a protest blockading a road

Fight to Protect Forest in Borneo Reaches Critical Point

Earth Island’s Borneo Project has been working for years with local and Indigenous communities in Borneo as they continue to challenge industrial logging operations that threaten the fragile forest ecosystem there. In response, timber giant Samling filed a SLAPP suit against the protesters in an effort to silence them. Take action by signing this petition urging Samling to drop the suit. In a positive development, thanks to pressure from activists, the Forest Stewardship Council recently opened an investigation into Samling’s logging operations, which you can read about here.

sequoia, poster

Menacing Logging Bill Making Its Way Through Congress

A menacing bill (HR 2989) is making its way through Congress that purports to “improve the health and resiliency of giant sequoias” by logging them. If that doesn’t make sense to you, it didn’t make sense to Earth Island’s John Muir Project either, which has joined more than 80 environmental organizations in opposition to the “Save Our Sequoias Act.” The bill would allow the circumvention of environmental laws to permit the commercial logging of trees under the guise of wildfire prevention. But these forests are capable of taking care of themselves, thank you very much, as this article explains. Contact your representatives and let them know you’re against this bill, and follow the John Muir Project on social media for updates.


Marking a Day of Remembrance for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples

On May 5, Missing or Murdered Indigenous Persons (MMIP) Awareness Day, Earth Island’s Seeding Sovereignty co-hosted the Third Annual Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women March in Seattle, Washington, to commemorate Indigenous women who have gone missing and who have been murdered. MMIP Program Director Tlux’shaa’du’stee, Liz Marin (Tlingit, from Southeast Alaska), is fighting this epidemic, offering symbolic red dress healing spaces for conversation and remembrance, beading classes, and care kits to Elders and survivors, and working to stop the recently approved fossil-fuel Willow Project in her homeland, which threatens Alaska Native communities. Learn more about these efforts here and here.


Fabulous Nature Photos by Kids

Earth Island’s Conservation Kids connects kids and young adults to nature and conservation through photography. The project’s latest outing, at the Bouverie Preserve in Sonoma County, California, produced some fabulous images, which you can see here. Following a few camera lessons and a presentation on the concept of conservation photography led by professional photographers Daniel Dietrich and Sarah Killingsworth, 16 camera cameras (not phone cameras) hit the trail to document this beautiful area. While on their outing, the team encountered a large rattlesnake, lizards, salamanders, deer, cicadas, spiders, mushrooms, wildflowers, and more. The enthusiastic participants captured more than 1,000 images! Photo by student photographer Kaila Symes.

coyote, howling

Happy 15th Anniversary to Project Coyote

Project Coyote, which has been with Earth Island since its inception, will be celebrating its 15th anniversary on May 21. For the past decade and a half, Project Coyote has been at the forefront of protecting North American carnivores and promoting compassionate coexistence between humans and wild nature. From co-founding the National Coalition to End Wildlife Killing Contests, which has successfully banned these cruel events in eight states, to educating communities and advocating for policy reform, Project Coyote is boldly creating a North America where humans and carnivores coexist and ecosystems thrive. As we commemorate this milestone, Project Coyote is calling on all wildlife advocates to join the pack, connect with them on social media, and consider donating to sustain their important work for another 15 years.

people outdoors

Regenerative Agriculture Program Seeks Candidates

Visionary leaders from the U.S. and U.S. territories are encouraged to participate in the 2023 U.S. Regenerative Agriculture & Health Accelerator developed by Earth Island’s Women’s Earth Alliance. The program is designed to support grassroots leaders in expanding their solutions and deepening their impact. The accelerator will bring together leaders working on regenerative agriculture, food sovereignty, reproductive justice, traditional medicine, and more. Nominations and applications are open until June 1. Learn more here.

plastic in a kelp forest

Special Event for Oceans Month

June is National Oceans Month and June 8 is World Oceans Day. On June 22, Earth Island’s Plastic Pollution Coalition (PPC) will host a webinar on the challenges that plastic pollution pose to our oceans and our bodies, how polluted waters disrupt the “blue mind” mental health benefits we gain from access to healthy oceans and waterways, and how we may restore our planet as well as our own physical and mental well-being. In conversation will be marine biologist Sylvia Earle, marine biologist and Blue Mind author Wallace J. Nichols, and microplastics expert Imari Walker-Franklin. The panel will be moderated by PPC CEO and Co-Founder Dianna Cohen. Sign up here.


Shark Stewards

Shark Stewards is petitioning the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service to protect oceanic whitetip and hammerhead sharks through a proposed rule requiring zero catch and retention of these threatened and endangered species of sharks. The National Marine Fisheries Service is accepting public comments on the proposal until May 22, and Shark Stewards is inviting the public to sign on to its petition. More information here.

Closing Note

Earth Island has just released its fiscal year 2021-2022 annual report — a great overview of our programs and projects and the work that we’re doing to protect the planet. Check it out here

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