Center for Biological Diversity

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The Center for Biological Diversity is a far-left environmental group that stemmed from the radical Earth First! movement.[1]

Kieran Suckling, Executive Director, is a founder of the Center for Biological Diversity. Todd Schulke was a Center for Biological Diversity co-founder.[2]

Other notable members include Peter Galvin and Robin Silver.

Ranching is a "target" of the Center for Biological Diversity

In an article[3] titled "No People Allowed," the New Yorker wrote in 1999 that "ranching" would be the "next target" of the Center for Biological Diversity. Kieran Suckling was quoted as saying “You cannot ranch economically in the desert without devastating the ecology.”

Exploiting the Endangered Species Act

In the New Yorker article cited above, the Center for Biological Diversity leaders had a "revelation" that "it would be possible to obtain endangered-species designations for dozens of species, whose critical habitat, if put together, would represent a significant portion of the Southwest."

Here is an excerpt:

"“We will have to inflict severe economic pain,” Robin Silver told me. “We’d like to see belly-high grass over millions of acres,” Peter Galvin added... Describes Suckling's early life, and his playful modification of Heidigger's anti-technological philosophy... Describes his work with Earth First! and the revelation he experienced when hearing of the Endangered Species Act... Suckling, Galvin, and Silver realized that it would be possible to obtain endangered-species designations for dozens of species, whose critical habitat, if put together, would represent a significant portion of the Southwest.... The center’s ideas about the moral superiority of untouched nature to human civilization seem commonplace, but they’re actually rather new... Describes the history of the idea, beginning in the 18th century, with Thoreau... Tells about the antipathy between the U.S. Forest Service and the center... Describes the center's triumph in saving the pygmy owl and its current fight over the San Pedro River... The center is at the peak of its influence, a perilous place to be... If you deconstructed the center’s activities, you might conclude that it is part of the entirely human ecology of a region where it isn’t possible for people not to be in charge. The human ecology of the Southwest has got out of balance, because the Center for Biological Diversity has been spectacularly good at amassing disproportionate power for itself."

A decade after the "revelation," it was reported in 2009[4] that the Center for Biological Diversity "has won the listing of 380 species as threatened or endangered. It also says it has secured 110 million acres of critical habitat and proposed another 130 million acres."

Here is an excerpt:

"Twenty years ago, they were Earth First!ers, living in tepees, trying to save spotted owls and grafting together a shoestring budget from their unemployment checks. Today, the Center for Biological Diversity has a budget of $7 million, 62 full-time staffers and 15 offices nationally, in locations from Washington, D.C., to Silver City, N.M. By filing 600 lawsuits and countless petitions against the federal government, the center has won the listing of 380 species as threatened or endangered. It also says it has secured 110 million acres of critical habitat and proposed another 130 million acres. CBD has won a reputation as the country's most militant large environmental group, one that seldom shrinks from controversy."

Strategic Litigation

The Center for Biological Diversity sues the federal government as a tool. From an interview with High Country News, Kieran Suckling explains how it works:

QUESTION: What role do lawsuits play in your strategy to list endangered species?
"They are one tool in a larger campaign, but we use lawsuits to help shift the balance of power from industry and government agencies, toward protecting endangered species. That plays out on many levels. At its simplest, by obtaining an injunction to shut down logging or prevent the filling of a dam, the power shifts to our hands. The Forest Service needs our agreement to get back to work, and we are in the position of being able to powerfully negotiate the terms of releasing the injunction.
"New injunctions, new species listings and new bad press take a terrible toll on agency morale. When we stop the same timber sale three or four times running, the timber planners want to tear their hair out. They feel like their careers are being mocked and destroyed -- and they are. So they become much more willing to play by our rules and at least get something done. Psychological warfare is a very underappreciated aspect of environmental campaigning."

Recovery of the Mexican wolf

October 15, 2015 US Senators Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall wrote to US Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe on Oct. 8, encouraging the agency to "take actions that are necessary to secure the recovery of the Mexican wolf as required by your responsibilities under the [Endangered Species Act]." They also asked federal officials to continue to openly communicate with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, and to pursue cooperation. They had been joined in that call for action by representatives from the Center for Biological Diversity, Wolf Conservation Center, American Society of Mammalogists, Sierra Club and WildEarth Guardians. The Fish and Wildlife Service says the hope is that New Mexico will choose to reengage with these efforts in the future, and continue to collaborate on work on other threatened and endangered species in the meantime.[5]

Cesar Chavez March

In April 2018, The Center for Biological Diversity's "Ignite Change" initiative tweeted their support of a Cesar Chavez March and Rally, which was spearheaded by the Arizona Cesar E. Chavez Holiday Coalition. They tweeted:

"Hey #Tucson! We'll be there in Tucson at the 18th Annual Cesar Chavez March and Rally to honor Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, and the farm workers movement. We'd love to see you there![6]

Partner of the March for Science

Center for Biological Diversity is listed on the March for Science website as a "partner."[7]

References