Editor’s Desk — Our recent work, from Covid to climate

North Atlantic right whales, like these in Canada’s Bay of Fundy, are are among the most endangered species on Earth. Photo by: Francois Gohier/VW Pics/Universal Images Group via Getty Images. You are receiving this email because you subscribed to a FERN newsletter on our website, because you donated, or because you attended a FERN event. Click here, if you no longer wish to receive fundraising emails during this plea. 

This has been an incredibly busy and productive year at FERN, with our coverage of Covid-19, climate change, biodiversity and social justice issues. We are a nonprofit news organization. More than half our budget comes from the support of our readers, people like you. So I hope you’ll consider a donation during our #NewsMatch campaign because all donations are now being matched — twice!

As we wind down into the holidays, I want to highlight some recent work you may have missed. In collaboration with Yale Environment 360, Rene Ebersole told the story of the fight to save the remaining North Atlantic right whales, one of the most endangered species on the planet. The animals have been getting slashed by ships’ propellers and snared in lobster fishing ropes. While rescue teams work to save them in the ocean, environmental groups are suing to force the fishing industry to change how it operates to protect the whales.

In her latest piece, staff writer Leah Douglas explained the obstacles states face as they prepare a vaccination program for food workers. “Trust is a major issue, with some workers worried about getting insufficient information about the vaccine’s safety or side effects before being offered the shots,” she writes.

We’ve also had a run of exceptional stories recently on Ag Insider:

Justice’ bill would transfer up to 32 million acres to Black farmers, by Chuck Abbott, details the recent legislation introduced by Senators Corey Booker and Elizabeth Warren to correct longstanding discrimination against Black farmers.

Smithfield settles suits over North Carolina farms, after losing appeal, by Barry Yeoman, explains why the largest pork company in the world settled with mostly Black rural residents over noxious hog pollution. This follows a two-part series Barry wrote on the issue last year.

Ag must make big changes to reach climate goals, by Elizabeth Royte, describes what needs to be done in agriculture and land use to combat climate change, according to a recent report from the World Resources Institute.

Will Colorado’s vote to bring back wolves be a model for conservationists? by Monica Nickelsburg, unpacked the unprecedented vote by Coloradans to reintroduce gray wolves to the state in the face of opposition from ranchers.

All of this work was possible because of your commitment. Right now, we’re in the midst of our #NewsMatch campaign. From now through December 31, your new monthly donation will be matched 24x or your one-time gift tripled (up to $5,000 per donor). We’re planning more investigations and year-long special series on issues we know you care about, but that work is expensive. If you value accountability journalism, now is the time to dig deep.

Please support FERN now.

Thank you and we wish you well during the holidays,

Sam Fromartz
Food & Environment Reporting Network