The votes have been counted, the legal challenges have all been denied, and a violent insurrection intended to subvert Congress’ constitutional duties has been suppressed. Though our democracy has been blemished, our belief in a diverse society that protects the vulnerable and safeguards the common good stands strong. And today, Joe Biden became the 46th President of our great, if imperfect, nation.
President Biden’s victory means the executive branch’s assault on environmental safeguards and public lands, and vicious attacks on civil servants, will come to end. It also means we will have a leader who will heed the wisdom of experts—whether on issues relating to public health, the climate, or any other complex matter.
We now must demand swift action by the Biden administration.
The new administration, with the historic nomination of Representative Deb Haaland for Interior Secretary and other environmentally friendly appointments, will be ready to enact policies that protect the natural world and address the climate crisis. For the boldest actions we will undoubtedly need to agitate—to lobby, organize, educate, and at times, still litigate in court—to force our government to do the right thing.
As one of our first steps, over the final six weeks of 2020 we asked many of you to sign petitions urging the incoming Biden administration to take immediate steps on a series of issues to begin reversing some of the damage done by Trump. Almost 50,000 of you signed those petitions, which we are delivering to the new administration, demanding President Biden immediately act and:
- Confront the extinction crisis by acting to immediately restore and strengthen the Endangered Species Act.
- Advance and nurture an ethic of wildlife coexistence by reforming or defunding the U.S. Department of Agricultures’ cruel and archaic Wildlife Services program.
- Reverse Trump’s “Dirty Water Rule” and start restoring strong clean water protections across the country.
- Halt the issuance of all new coal, oil, and gas leasing on public lands and waters. By keeping fossil fuels in the ground we can—and will—more aggressively shift to a clean energy economy.
- Restore Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves and deploy the safety net for dozens of other imperiled species from the sage grouse and wolverine to the Joshua tree and Sonoran desert tortoise.
This is just the beginning of our push to clean up the mess of the last four years and advance a new vision of restoration and rewilding. And Guardians has hope and a plan for how we will succeed, starting today and continuing over the next four years. We will continue to rely on your actions, your voice, and your financial support. Join me in celebrating a new era—the Biden presidency—where hope for the wild has returned. Be ready.