Protect West Coast Fishers From Extinction

Target: Martha Williams, Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service

Goal: Demand that fishers receive much-needed protection status and that endangered species more diligently be included in conservation efforts.

Earlier this month, biodiversity and environmentalist groups filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for their alleged failure to protect certain endangered species. Specifically, the lawsuit targets this agency’s reported denial of endangered species protection status for West Coast fishers, a small, carnivorous mammal belonging to the weasel family. As per the Endangered Species Act, protections would make it illegal to “harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct,” and would instate vital protections for the species’ natural habitat, as well.

Environmentalists claim that fishers needed protection under the Endangered Species Act 20 years ago—and they need it still. Fishers have been threatened with extinction since the 1950s, when logging and fur-trapping decimated native populations. Now, these animals face even greater, novel threats, including the use of rodenticides by cannabis farmers and climate change effects, such as more frequent and extensive forest fires. While fishers once thrived throughout the old-growth forests of the West Coast, solely two distinct populations—in the Sierra Nevada mountains and Northern California stretching into southwestern Oregon—are left.

Sign this petition to demand the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service afford fishers the same vital protections as other listed species, and that they are more diligent in assigning wildlife legal protections.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Director Williams,

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been threatened with a lawsuit in the wake of your reported failure to protect certain, critically endangered species. Specifically, the lawsuit alleges that your agent has adamantly denied Endangered Species Act protections to West Coast fishers, which have been in desperate need of conservation for over 20 years, when populations were decimated for logging and fur-trapping practices. While fishers once thrived throughout old-growth forests across the West Coast, only two isolated populations exist in the wild today.

We are asking you, Ms. Williams, to afford West Coast fishers—and all other endangered wildlife—with legal ESA protections. All animals—not just the ones we deem important—are worthy of protection.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Matthew Zalewski


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