Greta Thunberg said in April of 2019, “Humanity is now standing at a crossroads. We must now decide which path we want to take.” While we can’t save what has already been lost, we can preserve what remains.

This week is Wolf Awareness Week, a national awareness week that began in 1996, following the successful reintroduction of gray wolves to the Northern Rockies. For nearly three decades, the gray wolf has symbolized the potential we possess to rescue endangered and imperiled species. …

Despite the unprecedented harm the border wall is doing to wildlife and human communities along the border, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is plowing ahead with construction during the COVID-19 crisis in places so rugged and remote that we had thought them safe. …

You’ve heard the warning: If we fail to act affirmatively to save plants, animals and their habitats, we could lose up to 1 million species by century’s end. We are on the verge of a sixth mass extinction, and biodiversity loss is escalating globally. Thinking about solving a problem of this magnitude is overwhelming, given the daunting factors of population growth, climate change and the countless economic, sociocultural and governance changes that must occur to change our relationship with nature from one of dominance to one of coexistence.

Carrizo Plain National Monument with cattle
Carrizo Plain National Monument with cattle

But one aspect of the problem is simple: We must protect more land and water from development for energy, agriculture, transportation infrastructure and urban growth. Land-use change is a primary driver of the world’s biodiversity crisis. In the U.S., we lost 24-million acres of natural lands between 2001 and 2017, which is the equivalent to losing nine Grand Canyon National Parks over that time period. If we don’t protect lands and waters now, we will continue to lose a football field of wild spaces every 30 seconds as species go extinct under our watch. That is why Defenders joined in the call for the protection of 30% of the nation’s lands and waters by 2030. …


Defenders of Wildlife

Defenders works on the ground, in the courts and on Capitol Hill to protect and restore imperiled wildlife across North America.

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