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Trump Wants to Open Up Roadless Areas in Tongass National Forest to Logging | Take Action Tuesday @EarthFoodLife

Road to extinction: The endangered marbled murrelet, a small seabird, nests on moss-covered trees in the Tongass National Forest in southeast Alaska, which has become a target of the Trump administration for more aggressive logging by changing the Roadless Rule. Such a move would not only permit logging activities, but would also open previously pristine wildlife habitat to mining, hydropower and recreation, imperiling the survival of several threatened species. (Photo credit: Tom Benson/Flickr)

Audubon: For nearly two decades, the federal Roadless Rule has prohibited road-building and logging on nearly 60 million acres of the country’s most pristine national forest land. The Roadless Rule currently protects more than half of the nearly 17-million-acre Tongass National Forest in Alaska. Part of the largest remaining temperate rainforest on Earth, the Tongass hosts the Prince of Wales Spruce Grouse and the Queen Charlotte Goshawk, a subspecies of Northern Goshawk that hunts and breeds exclusively in old-growth forests. These wild areas are in jeopardy: the U.S. Forest Service has proposed a new rule that would open these old-growth woods in Alaska to clearcutting. The agency is accepting public comments on this misguided plan through December 17.
>>>Urge the U.S. Forest Service not to gut forest protections in the wild roadless areas of the Tongass National Forest.

Animal Welfare Institute: In a move that threatens to undermine a host of legal protections guaranteed to marine mammals in the United States and Canada, Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut has applied for a permit to import five captive-born beluga whales from Marineland in Canada. If the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) grants this permit, these animals would be on public display at Mystic Aquarium and likely Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, and possibly other facilities throughout the United States. All five of these whales are descended from the Sakhalin Bay-Nikolaya Bay-Amur River stock of beluga whales—the same stock that NMFS designated as depleted in 2016. The U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) prohibits the import of marine mammals from depleted populations—and their descendants—for public display. In Mystic’s permit application to NMFS, it seeks to circumvent this legal prohibition by claiming that “incidental” public display is allowed when a marine mammal from a depleted population is to be imported for research. This is not so. Allowing this import would create a massive loophole in the MMPA’s prohibition against the import of depleted marine mammals for public display.
>>>Urge the NMFS to deny Mystic Aquarium’s request to import beluga whales from Canada.

Change: While all countries contribute to the oceans’ dire plastic pollution problem, Indonesia is one of the biggest culprits. After China, Indonesia is the largest contributor of plastics to our oceans. The country sends 3.22 million metric tons of the material into our oceans each year alone. That fact became even more apparent after a dead 31-foot sperm whale washed ashore at the Wakatobi National Park in Indonesia. Experts discovered that the whale was stuffed full of plastic debris. All in all, the whale had 115 drinking cups, four plastic bottles, 25 plastic bags and two flip-flops in its stomach. In recent years, Indonesia’s attempts to curtail plastic use have been relatively toothless. Their $0.02 plastic bag tax and proposed excise tax against plastic producers have both been discontinued. These policy failures make it highly unlikely the country will meet their goal of reducing plastic waste by 70 percent in less than 10 years. In reality, there is already a model that works. If Indonesia wants to get serious about dumping their plastic addiction, they need to look no further than countries like Kenya and Rwanda, which have banned single-use plastic bags completely. In those countries, breaking the ban can get the offender in real trouble. Serious fines and jail time and have worked so well, they won Kigali—Rwanda’s capital—the title of “the cleanest city in Africa.”
>>>Urge Indonesian President Joko Widodo to implement a complete and total ban on single-use plastics.

Cause for concern…

The worst is yet to come: The Pine Bend oil refinery in Rosemount, Minnesota, run by Flint Hills Resources, a subsidiary of Koch Industries. A report published on November 20 by the United Nations Environment Program has found that the emission reduction pledges made by the 188 nations that signed the 2015 Paris climate agreement are not enough to avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis, concluding that “exceeding the 1.5°C goal can no longer be avoided.” To make matters worse, even the current pledges will most likely not be achieved. The report’s authors blame continuing governmental support of the oil and gas industry, including ongoing fossil fuel subsidies and lack of appropriate carbon pricing schemes. (Photo credit: Tony Webster/Flickr)

Round of applause…

For the winThe Game Changers, a Netflix documentary produced by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jackie Chan, Lewis Hamilton, James Cameron and Novak Djokovic (above), finds that the ideal diet for human performance and health is plant-based. The film is having a significant impact, with many viewers going vegan after watching it. Even Roger Whiteside, the chief executive of Gregg’s, a U.K. food company famous for their meat-filled pastries, went vegan after seeing it. (Photo credit: mirsasha/Flickr)

Parting thought…

“Veganism is not a sacrifice. It is a joy.” —Gary L. Francione


Earth | Food | Life (EFL) explores the critical and often interconnected issues facing the climate/environment, food/agriculture and nature/animal rights, and champions action; specifically, how responsible citizens, voters and consumers can help put society on an ethical path of sustainability that respects the rights of all species who call this planet home. EFL emphasizes the idea that everything is connected, so every decision matters.

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Questions, comments, suggestions, submissions? Contact EFL editor Reynard Loki at [email protected]. Follow EFL on Twitter @EarthFoodLife.