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539 species native to the U.S. have gone extinct in the past 200 years. ??? Since the Endangered Species Act (ESA) was passed in 1973, only 9 of the 1,290 species listed as endangered have gone extinct. ??? 90% of Americans say they support the ESA, even as 69% say government is too intrusive. ??? 234 species made the endangered list under Bush Sr., 512 under Clinton, and 39 so far under George W. Bush. ??? The Bush administration has cut the number of protected rivers for salmon and steelhead trout by 80%. ??? Since 1982, an area the size of New York state has been developed. ??? The 20 fastest-growing urban counties are endangering 438 species. ??? Each year, cars hit at least 1.5 million deer, causing more than $1 billion in damage. In 2003, collisions with animals killed 210 people. ??? On average, only one person a year is killed by bears. ??? California is building a $2.5 million tunnel so mountain lions can safely pass under an L.A. freeway. ??? The Fish and Wildlife Service has allowed a major Republican donor to build a Catholic college and town amid 5,000 acres of endangered Florida panther habitat. ??? Rep. Richard Pombo?s (R-Calif.) House-approved overhaul of the ESA would compensate corporations for hypothetical future profits lost to habitat protection regulations. ??? Rep. Pombo has also proposed selling off parts of Yellowstone, Death Valley, and Denali national parks to mining companies. ??? President Bush?s nickname for Pombo: the Marlboro Man.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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