Fighting Goliath

by MONICA BOND

Forty years ago, during the Nixon administration of the early 1970s, Congress passed several truly visionary environmental laws.  The strength of these laws, including the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act, along with the previously passed Clean Air Act, reflected the will of the American people to safeguard the air, water, biodiversity, and natural spaces of this country.  These laws are the envy of many conservation activists working in other countries of the world, and are something of which every American should rightly be proud.  Not surprisingly, public support for our nation’s progressive environmental laws remains strong and stalwart to this day.

But laws on paper do not save the extraordinary diversity of plants and animals and the ecosystems upon which they (and we) depend for survival.  It takes everyday people, working tenaciously and tirelessly, to ensure that these laws are applied and enforced.  Through bold ‘David vs. Goliath’ legal battles and arduous grassroots organizing, the groups supported by the Fund for Wild Nature work diligently on behalf of the voiceless who share our ecosystems with us – from charismatic bald eagles and wolverines to less-glamorous American eels, black-backed woodpeckers and southern flying squirrels. And these groups could not do it without donations from people like you.

Fighting the powerful forces of ecological destruction can be daunting,  but the Fund for Wild Nature’s grantees continue making important  strides.  In February 2013 the Utah Environmental Congress and its partners successfully appealed and stopped the massive 8-square-mile Iron Springs logging project in the Dixie National Forest near the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, protecting thousands of acres of Mexican spotted owl and northern goshawk habitat – an example of the National Environmental Policy Act at work.  Our grantees Footloose Montana and Swan View Coalition, in a coalition with other groups, suspended the trapping of imperiled wolverines in Montana during the 2012 season while a state district court judge prepares to hear arguments why the animal should be protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.  Ebbetts Pass Forest Watch and its partners recently enforced the California Environmental Quality Act and closed a loophole in the California forest practice rules, halting the approval of all new ecologically devastating clearcut logging projects by Sierra Pacific Industries in the southern Sierra Nevada for much of 2012 and 2013.

The Fund for Wild Nature’s all-volunteer board members (which include CounterPunch editor Jeffrey St. Clair and contributing editor Chloe Cockburn) vet grant proposals and direct your tax-deductible donations to the groups the U.S. and Canada that need them most – those fighting in the court of law and public opinion to effectively protect forests, deserts, prairies, rivers, and oceans for everyone to enjoy.  The more money we can raise, the more we can give away.  We offer our heartfelt gratitude for your past support and hope that you will donate again so we can continue ensuring that the spirit of our nation’s environmental laws becomes reality.

Fund for Wild Nature
P.O. Box 900
Kelso WA 98626

Monica Bond, MS is a wildlife biologist and biodiversity advocate with the Wild Nature Institute. She is a graduate of the first year of Green Corps, the field school for environmental organizing, and has worked as an Endangered Species Act grassroots organizer for the National Wildlife Federation and a staff biologist for the Center for Biological Diversity, where she fought urban sprawl and protected forests from damaging logging. Monica received her M.S. degree in Wildlife Science from the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Oregon State University and has conducted field research on Gray-tailed Voles, Western Burrowing Owls, Spotted Owls, Black-backed Woodpeckers, Arboreal Salamanders, Northern Elephant Seals, Hawaiian Monk Seals, and Masai Giraffe. She resides in New Hampshire but travels around the world researching and advocating for the conservation of imperiled wildlife and habitats.

 

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