April 22, 2009
Approved by a vote of 290 to 118, the Great Cats and Rare Canids Act protects twelve species of wild cats and dogs globally, including leopards, cheetahs, snow leopards, and African wild dogs. Building on the existing Multinational Species Conservation Funds, the bill aims to lessen poaching and smuggling, protect critical habitat, and support education related to these charismatic species in their home countries. If enacted, the bill will provide additional funding to private conservation organizations by as much as three to one. The Great Cats and Rare Canids Act was sponsored by Congressman Jay Inslee from Washington state.
The cheetah is one of the endangered cats that would benefit from the Great Cats and Rare Canids Act. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler.
The Crane Conservation Act also passed easily: 288 to 166. The Act supports crane conservation both in the U.S. and around the world. With eleven species of crane labeled threatened out of fifteen, cranes are considered the world’s most endangered bird family. The Act was authored by Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin.
“We thank Congressman Jay Inslee and Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin for their leadership and dedication and also recognize the long-term commitment of the co-chairs of the International Conservation Caucus for their continued support to this effort” said John Calvelli, Executive Vice President of Public Affairs at the Wildlife Conservation Society.
EPA finds CO2 a danger to public health
(04/17/2009) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday ruled that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases "may endanger public health or welfare", a finding that opens to door to future regulation of such emissions under the the Clean Air Act.
Rainforest conservation gains in U.S. and U.N. climate proposals
(04/14/2009) A proposed mechanism for reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) figures prominently in the draft climate bill released last month by Congressmen Henry Waxman and Ed Markey as well as a U.N. document posted last week following a climate meeting in Bonn, Germany. Deforestation is the source of roughly 20 percent of greenhouse gas emissions from human activities.
Obama blocks offshore oil drilling for now
(02/11/2009) The Obama administration has shelved a plan by the Bush Administration to open U.S. coastal waters to oil and gas drilling. The proposal, put forth on the last business day of the Bush Administration, had been vehemently opposed by environmental groups.