By Michelle Kretzer | September 25, 2018
In a resounding victory for animals, a federal judge has ruled that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was “arbitrary and capricious” in stripping grizzly bears in Yellowstone National Park of their Endangered Species Act protection. Montana Chief District Judge Dana L. Christensen’s decision blocks planned bear hunts in Wyoming and Idaho and restores the bears’ legal protection.
Christensen ruled that in removing the bears’ protected status, U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials put the small population at risk for extinction.
“By refusing to analyze the legal and functional impact of delisting on other continental grizzly populations, the service entirely failed to consider an issue of extreme importance,” he wrote in his decision. “Moreover, the service’s analysis of the threats faced by the Greater Yellowstone grizzly segment was arbitrary and capricious.”
By 1975, grizzly bears in Yellowstone had been hunted almost to extinction, and they were among the first animals to be protected under the Endangered Species Act.
In the last 10 years, hunting enthusiasts have twice tried to strip bears of their protection. But animal advocates and Native American nations fought for the grizzlies, and both attempts failed.
After the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service delisted the animals last year, Wyoming and Idaho were quick to plan bear trophy hunts, and a coalition of advocacy groups sued. Christensen twice delayed the bear hunts while he considered the case. His ruling terminates the hunts and allows the bear population to continue its recovery.
4 cups vegetable stock
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can black beans
1/2 medium white onion, peeled and chopped
2 bay leaves
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. pepper
1 cup vegan chicken (we used Before the Butcher shredded)
1–2 cups frozen corn
3–4 corn tortillas
Toppings: lime wedges, chopped cilantro, avocado, sour cream
Place all the ingredients, except the tortillas and toppings, in a large pot, pressure cooker, Instant Pot, or other multicooker. If using a stovetop pot, simmer over medium heat for about 20 minutes. If using a multicooker, set to high pressure and cook for 10 to 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut the tortillas in half and then into strips.
Place on a sheet pan and bake at 450°F for 10 minutes, or until crunchy.
Top the soup with the baked tortilla strips and desired toppings.
Makes about 8 to 10 servings
Congressman Jim McGovern Applauds House Passage of Reciprocal Access to Tibet Bill
“With this bill, we are taking an important step forward on behalf of the human rights of Tibetans”
Congressman Jim McGovern, Ranking Member of the House Rules Committee and Co-Chair of the bipartisan Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission in Congress, applauded yesterday the passage of a bipartisan bill he introduced – H.R. 1872, the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act – by the United States House of Representatives.
The Congressman’s legislation seeks to hold China accountable for its human rights violations in Tibet.
Since 1950, Tibetans have resisted the rule of the People’s Republic of China.
The repression of a Tibetan uprising in 1959 provoked the Dalai Lama and 80,000 followers to flee into exile.
China has continued to violently oppress the Tibetan people – imposing draconian controls over their lives and imprisoning and torturing hundreds of Tibetan political prisoners and detainees.
“Today is a great day for human rights,” said Congressman McGovern on the House Floor during passage of the bill. “If China wants its citizens and officials to continue to travel freely in the U.S., then Americans – including Tibetan Americans – must be able to travel freely in China, including Tibet, beginning now.”
One of China’s key oppression mechanisms consists of limiting travel to Tibet in an attempt to cover up and minimize their human rights violations.
Despite the fact that Chinese officials, journalists and tourists generally travel freely within the United States, the Chinese government has erected many barriers to Americans who seek to travel to Tibet – undermining the reciprocity and mutual respect that serves as the foundation of international law.
Under the Congressman’s bill, Chinese authorities who design and implement these restrictions on travel to Tibetan areas would become ineligible for admission to the United States.
The bill now proceeds to the United States Senate for their consideration.
Key Excerpts from McGovern’s Remarks:
“Mr. Speaker, today is a great day for human rights. The House is about to approve our bipartisan bill – The Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act — that will impose real consequences for China’s bad behavior in Tibet.”
“America’s foreign policy ought to send the message that we value human rights. That we stand with those working for freedom. That those values compel us to speak out when we see something that’s wrong. And that we will hold accountable those who violate the basic human rights we are all entitled to. And that’s exactly what this bill today is all about.”
“Tibetans are left isolated from the rest of the world. Their well-documented suffering under Chinese rule — arbitrary detention, torture and ill-treatment, extensive government surveillance, restrictions on the use of their language and their religious and cultural practices — all these violations of fundamental human rights are hidden from sight.”
“I know first-hand how important access to Tibet is because I had the opportunity to join Leader Pelosi and several other Members of Congress for a visit there in November of 2015. I saw the tight control the government exercises over virtually all aspects of the daily lives of Tibetans. And I had people thank me for being there, remembering them, and fighting for their rights.”
“So if China wants its citizens and officials to continue to travel freely in the U.S., Americans — including Tibetan Americans — must be able to travel freely in China, including Tibet, beginning now.”
“With this bill we are taking an important step forward on behalf of the human rights of Tibetans, we are reaffirming our support for the leadership of his holiness the Dali Lama, and we are sending a message to the government of China: human rights are not negotiable. Supporting human rights is the moral thing to do. It is the right thing to do. And it is the American thing to do — for Tibetans, in China and everywhere else in the world.”