The League of Conservation Voters helps you tell Congress to renew and fund fully the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The LWCF, as you probably know, has been around for 50 years, buying land for parks, forests, and wildlife areas that all Americans can enjoy, but the LWCF expires next month, and though it enjoys bipartisan support -- the current reauthorization bill before the Senate lists North Carolina Republican Richard Burr as its chief sponsor -- you know any must-pass bill can be held hostage at any time by any Congressperson who gets it in their head that the LWCF is intolerable socialism. And at least one corporate front group, the Property and Environment Research Center, has argued that the LWCF should do more to maintain federal lands (as if no other sources of funding are available for that task!) before buying up new lands for conservation. Of course, if our government spends less money buying lands, that's more land available to PERC's big funders for development, drilling, and mining -- and less land available to us for our use and enjoyment. PERC isn't that much cleverer than your average right-wing think tank.
Meanwhile, Julianne Collins has started a petition on Change.org helping you tell Banfield Pet Hospitals, the biggest privately-owned veterinary chain in America, to stop declawing cats in their facilities except if the cat has a serious medical issue that declawing would help, undoubtedly figuring if Banfield takes the lead, others will follow. Ms. Collins tells people the same thing I've been telling them for years: that declawing a cat is like cutting off the tips of a person's fingers at the first knuckle -- except, of course, it's even worse, since you and I don't have retractable knives in our fingers. And a housecat without its front claws may never have to kill prey to feed itself or defend itself against a larger animal, but it will still be an unhappy, insecure cat. If a cat scratches me, I don't demand amputation of its claws; I just try to figure out how to approach the cat better next time. And if a cat scratches your furniture? Put up a couple of scratching posts! Preferably one with sisal rope wound around it. In the unlikely event your cat still prefers scratching up your couch, you still have options, behavior modification chief among them. Nothing worth doing is easy, after all.