ANIMAL GOOD NEWS
Bush Administration Reverses Wildlife Protection
Responding to a flurry of efforts by conservationists–including more than 15,000 faxes and e-mails sent by DEN members–sporting groups and state governments, the Bush administration has done a 180-degree turn on its plan to remove protections for 20 million acres, or 20 percent, of wetlands in the lower-48 states (see DENlines, November 13, 2003). The plan would have opened all of what are called "isolated" wetlands to development and pollution, leading to the destruction of lands that are crucial to countless species, not to mention public health. Despite our success, the Army Corps of Engineers, under the Bush administration, still has a directive in place that affects more than 20 million acres of wetlands. Defenders will be working to repeal this policy and address gaps in wetlands protection at the state level.
The conservation community also scored a legal victory this week, when a federal district judge threw out a Bush administration plan to allow increased snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park. The administration received extensive comments from the public, including DEN members, objecting to its plan to scrap Clinton administration efforts to phase out snowmobiles in the park. Despite this fact, the Bush administration decided to continue to allow the machines to harass wildlife and pollute the air in the park. The judge's decision will limit the amount of snowmobiles that enter the park this season and ban them outright by next season. Visitors will continue to be allowed access to Yellowstone via snow coaches.
These victories could not have been won without your help. There is no doubt that we will face many challenges in 2004. But together, we can make a difference and ensure that our air is safe to breathe, our water safe to drink, and the land we all share remains protected. We owe it to ourselves, our children, and our children's children.
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