Archive for December, 2009

More information on carbofuran from Defenders

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

As we continue to follow up on the Defenders’ Action Alert we received earlier this month (see our post here about Saving African Lions) here is some more information regarding carbofuran from Defenders…

For Immediate Release

December 15, 2009
Contact(s) Cat Lazaroff, 202-772-3270

Court rules against FMC Corporation, pesticide users

Ban on deadly pesticide goes into effect December 31st

  • The DC Circuit yesterday rejected a request by FMC Corporation, the manufacturer of carbofuran, and several U.S. users of carbofuran, for a stay of EPA’s decision to revoke food tolerances of the deadly pesticide.
  • EPA’s decision to revoke all tolerances of carbofuran will take effect after December 31, 2009
  • Court’s decision will not affect international uses that are killing African lions.
  • Court is expected to decide the case in 2010.

WASHINGTON (Dec. 15, 2009) – Defenders of Wildlife is very pleased to hear that the Court has denied a motion for a stay of EPA’s decision to revoke all food tolerances of carbofuran. The following is a statement from Rodger Schlickeisen, President for Defenders of Wildlife:

“This toxic pesticide has killed millions of birds and other wildlife in the U.S. alone for decades. It is widely used by other countries on food eaten by American consumers. The December 31st end-date for carbofuran cannot come too soon not only for America’s wildlife but also for our children, farmworkers and the general public. We hope the Court in its final ruling will maintain the ban on this deadly chemical.

“Unfortunately, today’s announcement will not end all international use of carbofuran. Countries can still use the pesticide on crops not destined for the U.S. Ample supplies of carbofuran in Kenya have made it readily available for illegal use to kill African lions and other wildlife. Defenders of Wildlife is committed to working with our conservation partners in addressing that issue as well.”

Read more about EPA’s cancellation of carbofuran tolerances
Learn more about Defenders’ work to end deadly uses of carbofuran


Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities.  With more than 1 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come.  For more information, visit

In the Wilderness

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

In the wilderness is the preservation of the world.

-Henry David Thoreau

Keeping a Positive Mental Attitude

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

DJ and I work very hard at maintaining a ‘Positive Mental Attitude’. It isn’t always easy, but the alternative – having a negative mental attitude – is far worse. How can you tell whether or not someone has a positive or a negative mental attitude? Listen carefully to the people you converse with. If they frequently start sentences with: “I don’t…”, or “I can’t…”, or “I don’t want…” chances are they have a negative mental attitude — and, they probably aren’t even aware of it. It took DJ and I many months (and, we still slip up occassionally) of carefully listening to how we expressed ourselves and unflinchingly pointing out to each other when we began sentences in this fashion. On the surface, this may seem very simplistic — but, I can assure you it is very difficult to 1) notice in oneself, and 2) change the habit!

So, how do you go about changing a negative mental attitude into a positive one? First, you must listen carefully to yourself when you speak and whenever you find yourself starting a sentence with a negative, rephrase it into a positive. e.g. If you are running late for work, you may find yourself saying, “I don’t want to be late.” Instead of that statement (which is negative), try saying, “I want to be on time.” It’s truly amazing how negative thoughts are everywhere around us. Just listen to the news, television personalities, family, and friends closely and you will begin to notice just how frequently negative statements are voiced.

Deep down I have always been a positive, upbeat, can-do kind of person. But, what I have found is that it is easier to remain positive if you are always stating things in the positive.

My recognition of the true power of having a Positive Mental Attitude came to me in a very dramatic fashion earlier this year. On August 31st, I was fortunate enough to be playing in a golf tournament with friends (actually, the founders of the John Calder Memorial Tournament) in Lynn, Massachusetts. I have played in this tournament for 8 years in a row and this was the first year that I had the pleasure and privilege of playing with my friends and tournament founders.

Jim's foursome

The weather was beautiful and we were starting on the 14th hole in a shotgun start for 18 holes. Our foursome determined the order we would tee off in and as it happened, I was selected to be first. As I was selecting my club from my bag, I suddenly felt a very sharp pain in my abdomen, actually it was more like on my abdomen – which after a quick moment I determined was the result of a sting from a yellow jacket that had somehow made its way into my golf shirt! Youch! My stomach began turning a bright red around the sting and it was burning incredibly. Well, we laughed and joked about it — something to the effect that if I was allergic to bee stings, I had better jump on the cart and head in to the clubhouse because no one in the foursome was going to give me mouth-to-mouth! Typical ‘guys on the golf course’ humor aside, I continued with my pre-shot routine and teed up my ball.

If you know me at all, then you know that I am a golf fanatic. I have been playing the sport for around 35 years and there has never been a time when I didn’t thoroughly enjoy the game. And, I can honestly say this: everytime I step up to the ball on a par 3 hole, in my mind I am thinking, “In the hole.” And, this time, that’s exactly what happened. I shot my career first hole-in-one. 145 yards, 8-iron, ball lands 4 inches in front of the hole, checks up and drops in the cup. It was witnessed by another friend – in fact, the guy that I played golf with on my high school team – who was on the next tee box! If you’ve ever shot a hole-in-one, or even if you’ve just witnessed one, then you can appreciate the sheer thrill and excitement that results. And, it wasn’t just me that felt it. My friends were all truly and as genuinely happy as I was at that moment.

Jim Fontaine's 1st hole-in-one!

So, what does this have to do with having positive mental attitude you might ask? Well, let me say this, on the next par three hole, one of the members in our foursome made the comment, “I’ll never get a hole-in-one.” as he was teeing up his ball. And, in my mind, I said, “Maybe, just maybe, if you thought you could then maybe someday you will.”

Jim Fontaine's hole-in-one golf ball!

I will tell you this: when I teed up my ball, I was thinking “In the hole.”

Saving African Lions

Friday, December 4th, 2009
This Defenders’ Wildlife Alert arrived today.  Help us to help Defenders in their efforts urging Kenya's Prime Minister Raila Odinga to ban the sale and use of carbofuran in Kenya.

*** UPDATE *** As of December 28th, 2009 — only a little more than 4000 signatures are needed on a petition to Kenya's Prime Minister Raila Odinga for action to be taken. Please help us to help Defenders by signing the petition and telling others about this issue!

Wildlife Alert

Take Action to Stop
the Poisoning of Lions

Male lion, Lauren Humphries, NBII

Carbofuran an insecticide the Environmental Protection Agency considers too toxic for use in America is poisoning many of the planet’s few remaining wild African lions.

Stop Lion Poisoning - Take Action

Sign our petition urging Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga to ban the sale and use of carbofuran in Kenya and support new protections for the country’s endangered lions.

Dear Donna,

It’s horrifying. Right now, a poison made by a U.S. company — a product that the Environmental Protection Agency says is too toxic to be used in America — is threatening the extinction of the majestic African lion.

Just a handful of carbofuran — a deadly neurotoxin that Defenders helped to ban in the U.S. — can kill an entire pride of lions. Sadly, this awful poison is still sold in stores (and widely used) across Kenya and East Africa.

If we don’t do something soon, these great cats could vanish from one of their last remaining homes in the wild.

Take action now. Sign our petition urging Kenya’s Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, to enact a ban on the sale and use of carbofuran in Kenya and support new protections for the country’s endangered lions.

Just 50 years ago, it is estimated that nearly a half a million lions could be found in Africa. Now lion experts say that as few as 16,000 remain a staggering decline of more than 95%. [1] In Kenya, home to world-famous wild lions, the story is especially sad.

The Kenya Wildlife Service estimates that fewer than 2,000 of these majestic great cats now remain in Kenya — down from an estimated 35,000 that made their home in the country just 50 years ago. According to the agency, one hundred lions are killed each year — many by carbofuran.

If Kenya’s lions continue their precipitous decline, there will not be a single wild lion left in the country in 20 years. [2]

To address this crisis, Defenders of Wildlife has been asked by some of Africa’s leading conservationists to intervene. Our first step: convince Kenya’s prime minister to get tough on carbofuran use in his country.

Please help us save some of the planet’s last remaining African lions. Sign our petition to Kenya’s Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

At least seventy-six lions have been confirmed killed by carbofuran, with many more deaths left unreported. And while it is a crime in Kenya to use this deadly poison to kill lions, but very few have ever been arrested for poisoning a lion with carbofuran.

A quarter teaspoon of carbofuran can kill an individual lion. Less will paralyze this mighty beast for up to a week, leaving a lion or lioness to starve to death or be killed by other predators.

It’s time for Kenya’s prime minister to get tough on lion poisoning. Please sign our petition and urge him to enact a ban on carbofuran and take concrete action to protect these great cats.

We know that we can win this fight. Over the last two decades, tens of thousands of Defenders activists helped finally convince the Environmental Protection Agency to ban the use of this deadly poison in America. Now we need you help to save the lives of endangered African lions threatened by carbofuran. Please take action today.

With Gratitude,

Rodger Schlickeisen Rodger Schlickeisen, President Signature
Rodger Schlickeisen
Defenders of Wildlife

P.S. Today’s petition is only the first in a series of dramatic actions Defenders of Wildlife will be taking in the months ahead to protect the lives of endangered lions. Please sign our petition and stay tuned for more ways to help.