Lawsuit Launched to Protect Critical Habitat for Freshwater Mussels in 18 States


Why do we worry about mussels? These creatures act as natural filters in the water, cleaning our water with all the junk we discharge or toss into it.


The Center for Biological Diversity today filed a notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect critical habitat for four endangered freshwater mussels found in 18 states in the East and Midwest.

The mussels have declined by nearly 70 percent because of water pollution and dams, and remaining populations are at high risk of extinction. They were protected under the Endangered Species Act in 2012, but the Fish and Wildlife Service did not designate protected critical habitat for protection as required by law.

“The health of freshwater mussels directly reflects river health, so protecting the places where these mussels live will help all of us who rely on clean water,” said Tierra Curry, a senior scientist at the Center. “This is especially important now, when we see growing threats to clean water from climate change, agriculture and other sources.”

The four colorfully named mussels — snuffbox, spectaclecase, sheepnose and rayed bean — range from Wisconsin and New York to Alabama, and from Kansas east to Virginia. Protection of critical habitat for the mussels will require anyone conducting a federally funded or permitted project in the mussels’ habitat to consult with the Service to ensure the species’ habitat would not be damaged. Species with federally protected critical habitat are more than twice as likely to be moving toward recovery as species without it.

Freshwater mussels are the most endangered group of organisms in North America because they are highly sensitive to water pollution. The eastern United States has more species of freshwater mussels than anywhere in the world, but 70 percent of them are at risk of extinction.

Mussels feed by filtering small particles from the water, contributing to water quality by making water clearer. But because they constantly filter water, they accumulate pollutants in their bodies.

Lawsuit Launched to Protect Critical Habitat for Freshwater Mussels in 18 States





the straights are at it again

Reblog if you are a greedy gay hoarding refracted light all for your greedy gay self

I totally am, but also: I have a story. The time: 1995. The place: a small liberal arts college. We decided to participate in “denim day” which was a widespread event wherein on National Coming Out Day, you would wear denim to indicate SUPPORT FOR the LGBT community. Our support group made posters that were very, very clear about this. Wearing denim did not mean that you were coming out, it meant you supported anyone around you who might.

I have never seen so many suits and khakis IN MY LIFE. People who accidentally wore jeans went home and changed.

The community took it as a rebuke. We drew in closer to eachother, and felt unwelcome everywhere we thought we had friends before.

And I had people later tell me “You know I support you, just… I didn’t want anyone to think I was.” First off, I DON’T know you support me. Not if you refuse to, for one day, change nothing about your life to show it. Second off… why is that such a terrifying thought to you?

I remember before rainbows were a “gay thing”. They were everywhere. Church walls next to arks. School walls next to sunshine faces. People have VOLUNTARILY abandoned every other use. I have HEARD PEOPLE SAY they just couldn’t use rainbows anymore because people would think of “gay stuff.”

So I know this is a joke, and a stolen one at that, but you’ve done this to yourselves. If someone is so terrified of being perceived as queer that they will INSTANTLY abandon something they like if it has queer germs on it now or something, then they don’t deserve refracted light.

Maybe help us change the world into a place where being mistaken for queer would be just a thing to chuckle about and you can have refracted light back.

The LGBTQ+ community didn’t steal the rainbow. The straights abandoned it.

Va. state senator files suit against Forest Service in support of pipeline protests



A Virginia state senator filed suit against the U.S. Forest Service on Wednesday, claiming that federal officials are illegally blocking access to a road in the Jefferson National Forest where several people are protesting construction of a natural gas pipeline.

State Sen. Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax), who is a lawyer, filed the suit at the federal courthouse in Roanoke after being prohibited from using the road to reach the protesters last week.

His action opens another legal front in the fight over the right to protest the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a 303-mile project that starts in West Virginia and crosses through Virginia’s southwest mountains.

A separate set of tree sitters was in federal court in Roanoke on Tuesday, as EQT Midstream and other companies behind the pipeline argued that Theresa “Red” Terry, her daughter Theresa Minor Terry and other members of the family are illegally blocking a stretch of the planned pipeline through their land. The builders of the pipeline want a judge to hold the Terry family and their allies in contempt.

Petersen’s suit is aimed at a site on Peters Mountain in Giles County along the West Virginia line. There, a protester identified only as “Nutty” has been living suspended from a pole, or monopod, since March 27, blocking efforts to clear trees.On April 7, the Forest Service closed a gravel access road to the public but continued to allow Mountain Valley Pipeline trucks to use it, saying it was unsafe for outsiders to be around the construction zone.

Va. state senator files suit against Forest Service in support of pipeline protests