Wed. 10/23: The Sierra Club and Food & Water Watch need our help to protect our environment and wildlife. Two quick actions!

P-30 and P-53 were found dead in September and August, respectively. Both had rat poison in their systems. (National Park Service)

Action #1: STOP MOUNTAIN LION DEATHS FROM RAT POISONS! – Join the Sierra Club in calling Governor Newsom.

(from Jim Hines, Sierra Club, Los Padres Chapter) Good Morning Friends:
We walked the halls of the CA state assembly this Spring and got our bill passed to ban anti-coagulant rodenticides (rat poisons) banned in the state of California, then the bill went to the state senate and we just did not have the votes this Fall for passage. The state senate is now in recess until 2020, so our next chance to get the state senate to ban rodenticides will be in February 2020.
But in the meantime, mountain lions (and other wildlife) are being killed by simply eating dead rats.
So along with our friends at Poison Free Malibu, we are urging people throughout California to contact CA Governor Gavin Newsom and ask him to impose a statewide ban on the use of wildlife-killing rodenticides.
The Governor has told us he will consider such a ban, but he is already getting a ear full from supporters of wildlife-killing rodenticides (retail store industry who sell rat posions, agri-business, golf courses and the like).
So we need to show the Governor that the people in California want mountain lions, raptors and other animals protected.
The Governor has toured mountain lion habitat areas and wildlife crossing areas with us and has always been on the side of protecting mountain lions, but now we need him to act to save mountain lion lives.
You may contact the Governor in any of the following ways:
* Use the Governor’s email link:
* On Twitter: @GavinNewsom
* Gov Newsom’s phone: 916-445-2841
for mountain lions wild and free,

Action #2: Tell the Senate to “skip” Aurelia Skipwith for head of an agency she might be happy to destroy.

(from Food & Water Action) Trump has nominated an anti-environmental careerist to head the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), a government agency charged with protecting endangered species and natural habitats. In the video below, Senator Whitehouse gives her a chance to explain an interesting coincidence…

The person who heads the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service should be a fierce advocate for endangered species, fish and natural habitats, using sound scientific principles to make informed decisions. Skipwith’s actions indicate that she is a proponent of barbaric practices against wildlife and is not trusted by her peers, nor environmental groups to not cater to the interests of corporate polluters and industries. “Skipwith will always put the interests of her old boss Monsanto and other polluters ahead of America’s wildlife and help the most anti-environmental administration in history do even more damage,” said Brett Hartl, government affairs director for the Center for Biological Diversity.

(Check out the list of her activities in “Deeper dive…” below.)

Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Senator [___] to vote “NO” on anti-environmental former consultant Aurelia Skipwith. People who’ve work with her state that not only is she unqualifed, but that her “potential conflicts of interest..raise serious questions about her ability to act in the public interest.” 

More script if you want it: She is a scandal waiting to happen, and our environment and our wildlife will pay the price.

Senator Feinstein: email, DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430
and Senator Harris: email, DC (202) 224-3553, LA (213) 894-5000, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 355-9041, SD (619) 239-3884
Who is my representative/senator?: 

Deeper dive on Aurelia Skipwith.

Aurelia Skipwith is a former employee of Monsanto, whose products are linked to the death of important pollinators, such as bees and butterflies. And glyphosate — the main ingredient in Roundup — is “probably carcinogenic to humans.” Skipwith also has ties to Westlands Water District, which previously lobbied to loosen regulations under the Endangered Species Act.  Secretary David Bernhardt, also has connections to Westlands, having sued the federal government on their behalf.

Here is a list of her current activities collated by

  • Baiting bears and other inhumanities: In July 2017, Skipwith sent memos to the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service requesting they review rules that “prevent hunters from killing bears and wolves using techniques many people consider extreme: baiting the animals with greasy doughnuts, ambushing mothers with pups in dens and shooting animals from boats while the bears are swimming” to allow Alaska to manage predators of moose and caribou populations for the benefit of hunters. [Darryl Fears, “Interior to review rules against killing bear cubs and wolf pups with their mothers,” Washington Post, 07/21/17]
  • How about charging cattle ranchers market rate for public land instead?: In August 2017, Skipwith called “for killing healthy horses and burros to rein in runaway costs associated with managing growing wild herds roaming the West’s public rangelands.” Brian Maffly, “A top interior official calls for ending bans on selling, euthanizing wild horses,” The Salt Lake Tribune, 08/23/17]
  • Why is this still happening?: In response to a coal industry request to repeal an Obama-era rule intended to crack down on water pollution from coal mining, Skipwith wrote in an email that regional Fish and Wildlife staff were “stonewalling” coal companies. [Dylan Brown, “Trump appointees chose coal over crawfish,” E&E News, 05/15/19]
  • The people who know her say “NO!”:  Twenty-Seven Former Fish And Wildlife Service Employees Voiced Their Opposition To The Nomination Of Aurelia Skipwith’s Nomination To Head The Agency: “Twenty-seven former Fish and Wildlife Service employees today united in opposition to the nomination of Aurelia Skipwith as the agency’s next director. Joined by Russell Galipeau, former superintendent of Channel Islands National Park, the former FWS staffers cited their combined 665.5 years of federal government experience in urging the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to reject Skipwith. ‘Ms. Skipwith lacks the training and experience necessary for this position,” the former employees wrote. “Her background consists largely of serving as a consultant or attorney dealing with non-wildlife and non-conservation issues.’ The former employees added that Skipwith’s ‘job history includes potential conflicts of interest which raise serious questions about her ability to act in the public interest.’ Christopher Nagano, a former deputy assistant field supervisor in the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Sacramento field office, helped coordinate the letter. It was sent one day prior to Skipwith’s scheduled confirmation hearing.” Skipwith has been serving as the Interior Department’s deputy assistant secretary for fish, wildlife and parks. [E&E News, 09/10/19]
  • Not a good look: Prior to Skipwith’s confirmation hearing, Environment and Public Works Committee Ranking Member Senator Carper sent Skipwith a letter asking for answers concerning the nature of her activities on behalf of a former employer. She refused to answer the letter and was not forthright at her confirmation hearing, instead telling Carper to file a Freedom of Information Act request to get the answers he wanted. The Golden Gate Salmon Association and all Democrats on the Committee opposed her nomination. [Senate Environment and Public Works Committee]

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