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Protecting Montana’s Blackfoot River Watershed | Take Action Tuesday @EarthFoodLife

He’d love more room to roam: A mule deer near the Webb Lake Ranger Station in Montana’s Scapegoat Wilderness. Congress designated the Scapegoat in 1972 with 240,000 acres. Now a new bill seeks to increase this and other wilderness areas in the Blackfoot River watershed. (Photo credit: U.S. Forest Service Northern Region/Flickr)

Conservation Alliance: Efforts to permanently protect the iconic Blackfoot River watershed in Montana began in 2005 when two groups who don’t traditionally see eye to eye—snowmobilers and wilderness advocates—came together to create a proposal to provide new opportunities for winter recreation and add key pieces of habitat to the existing wilderness. The Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act (BCSA) is the result of this decades-long, multi-stakeholder collaboration. The bill offers something for everyone. The BCSA would designate 78,000 acres of wilderness with the expansions to the Bob Marshall, Scapegoat and Mission Mountain Wilderness Areas, and establish two new recreation areas: the 2,000-acre Otatsy Recreation Area, a popular snowmobiling area, and the Spread Mountain Recreation Area, preserving prized mountain biking access to Spread Mountain, Center Ridge and Camp Pass. Additionally, the bill will give the U.S. Forest Service more tools to actively manage forests on the Seeley Ranger District. Sustainable timber harvest is crucial to the local economy and the bill’s collaborative approach has resulted in coordination with and endorsement from Pyramid Lumber—one of the area’s largest employers.
>>>Urge Montana’s congressional leaders to pass the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act.

Change: Hunters in Alaska can now track and kill hibernating bears thanks to a U.S. House and Senate resolution rolling back Obama-era regulations against the practice passed over a year ago. President Donald Trump signed the bill into law in April, effectively rolling back Alaska’s ban on killing the vulnerable bears, along with, shockingly, wolf cubs in dens. It also allows for hunters to target the animals from helicopters. The Republican-sponsored legislation impacts 76.8 million acres of federally protected national preserves across Alaska. Something must be done to protect these innocent animals while they hibernate. They are causing no harm to anyone during these times and, in fact, have no need to ever be hunted.
>>>Urge Congress to protect hibernating bears from hunters.

PETA: It’s no secret that mice and rats feel pain, fear, loneliness and joy—just as humans do. These highly social animals become emotionally attached to one another, love their families, and easily bond with human guardians. Rats even express empathy when another rat or a human they know is in distress—and some will even put themselves in harm’s way rather than allowing another rat to suffer. Right now, tens of millions of mice and rats are being used in painful and ineffective experiments. Others experience excruciating deaths while stuck to deadly glue traps. In crowded breeding mills that supply small animals to big-box pet stores, they’re denied water and adequate veterinary care. These intelligent and emotional animals need more protections, and taxpayers certainly should not be paying for cruel and ineffective tests on them.
>>>Urge the National Institutes of Health to stop funding worthless sepsis experiments on mice.

Cause for concern…

Extreme living: “The past decade is almost certain to be the hottest on record, weather experts warned … painting a bleak picture of vanishing sea ice, devastating heatwaves and encroaching seas,” writes Matthew Green for Reuters, reporting on the World Meteorological Organizations annual assessment of the Earth’s climate. In addition, atmospheric scientist Michael Mann, co-author of a disturbing new report examining the climate impacts on the polar regions, said that “the dramatic warming and melting of Arctic ice is impacting the jet stream in a way that gives us more persistent and damaging weather extremes.” (Photo credit: Tim Ellis/Flickr)

Round of applause…

No joke: Actor and animal rights activist Joaquin Phoenix, an ethical vegan since the age of three, is the producer of the “The Animal People,” a new film that opens nationwide on December 10. Fifteen years in the making, the documentary tells the story of six animal advocates—targeted as terrorists by the U.S. government—seeking to expose the largest animal-testing lab in the world, and the inhumane industry trying to stop them. (Photo credit: eLENA tUBARO/Flickr)

Parting thought…

“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” —John Muir