For Immediate Release, August 30, 2023

Contact: Emily Bishton, Arivaca Pollinator Pathway, 

Dynamic, 3-D Mural Unveiling Sunday in Arizona 

Mural Series Commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the Endangered Species Act

Arivaca, Ariz. – The Endangered Species Coalition, our member organizations, and the Arivaca Pollinator Pathway Project are pleased to announce the unveiling of a 3-dimensional, community mural featuring native endangered and threatened species in different settings. The mural unveiling and celebration is part of a series commemorating the 50th year of the Endangered Species Act. Festivities begin Sunday, September 3rd at 11:00 am and will run until 4:00 pm at the Arivaca Dancehall, 17271 W. 5th St. in Arivaca, Ariz.

This event will feature the dedication of our new mural, created by artist Paul ‘Nox’ Pablo, and complementing our Pollinator Pathway project by depicting images of local, native plants and animals. We’re honored that the celebratory event will include special guests from Tohono O’odham Nation and its Cultural Center and Museum, who will provide a presentation and receive returned local Tribal artifacts.  The event will be capped off with a performance by legendary Waila musicians Gertie and the T.O. Boys, who have entertained audiences and been cultural ambassadors for the Tohono O’odham Nation throughout the US for decades. 

About ESA AT 50 

In 2023, the 50th anniversary provides a unique, year-long opportunity to build support for the Endangered Species Act and imperiled species by celebrating conservation achievements, highlighting conservation needs, and generally reminding the public and decision-makers why plants, fish, and wildlife are beloved and vital to the heritage we share as Americans. Just as in 1973, an unprecedented coalition of agencies, organizations, and nonprofits are coming together to commemorate this conservation legacy. Find out more about the coalition, events and activities at 

About the Arivaca Pollinator Pathway Project

The Arivaca Pollinator Pathway is a volunteer-driven project to build public gardens in the small town of Arivaca to provide a linked pathway of habitat for Monarchs and other butterflies, bees, bats, and other pollinators.  In addition, to grow local knowledge and understanding about the importance of pollinators and how to provide good habitat for them, through free garden classes and experiential learning.

The project has also grown to include the creation of a beautiful new mural that depicts pollinators and other species that are endangered or threatened in the region of Southern Arizona that includes Arivaca and the Tohono O’odham Nation.  The 3-sided mural is surrounded by one of the Pollinator Pathway gardens, and its unique design takes viewers on a day and night journey through the natural habitat of this region.

The Pollinator Pathway Project is a collaboration between the Arivaca Dancehall, the Teen Advisory Board (TAB) of the Friends of the Arivaca Caviglia Library, and fiscal sponsor Arivaca Human Resource.

Find out more about the project’s events and activities.

Article republished with permission from the League of Conservation Voters.


The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is facing unprecedented attacks that threaten some of our nation’s most important species. At the same time, the climate crisis and irresponsible development are leading to catastrophic losses of plant and animal species. Some biologists estimate that 35% of animals and plants could become extinct in the wild by 2050 due to climate change alone. While working to curb our emissions and ensure a livable planet for every species on Earth, we must also ensure that those most at risk and their habitats are protected. This year, on the 50th anniversary of the ESA’s passage, it is more important than ever to uphold this foundational environmental law in the face of continued threats.

The ESA’s 50 Years of Success

President Nixon signed the ESA into law in 1973 with overwhelming bipartisan support. The ESA ensures that species in danger of extinction, as well as the ecosystems that support those species, benefit from comprehensive protections. Since its passage, the ESA has secured the survival of iconic species including our nation’s emblem, the bald eagle.

Indeed, the ESA has been credited with saving 99% of listed species from extinction, and this achievement is due to the essential collaboration between federal agencies and state, local, and tribal governments. Success stories include the survival of the Florida manatee, seven species of sea turtles, the Channel Island fox, and the gray wolf. Importantly, these species and their habitats are not separate from us. These creatures inhabit the same coasts, forests, bays, and grasslands we do. Often, their loss is an indicator of a broader habitat decline which affects all of us – from the water we drink, the soil we grow our food in, to the larger balance of ecosystems we too are a part of.

Today’s Unprecedented Attacks on the ESA

There has long been opposition to the ESA’s protections for vulnerable species and habitats, primarily in the name of agricultural development and economic growth. The Trump administration undertook various efforts, both executive and administrative, to prioritize economic development, prevent the use of the best available science, narrow the definition of “habitat,” and overall to interfere with federal agencies’ abilities to prevent species’ extinction. Now, the Biden-Harris administration is taking steps to reverse those actions and strengthen regulations to protect threatened species.

However, the attacks continue in Congress. In May, the Senate took an unprecedented step of voting to remove protections for an individually protected species, the critically imperiled lesser prairie chicken, using a deregulatory tool called the Congressional Review Act (CRA). The CRA is an extreme anti-regulatory law, passed under Speaker Gingrich’s leadership in the 90’s, that allows Congress to overturn rules made by an administration and explicitly bans any “substantially similar” rules from being pursued in the future. Historically, this has been abused by anti-environmental members of Congress who want to permanently strip away protections for our environment, wildlife, and natural heritage. In this case, it could prevent the Fish and Wildlife Service from ever protecting the lesser prairie-chicken under the Endangered Species Act in the future, even if its populations collapsed or just a handful of individual birds remained.

The Senate’s May CRA vote was quickly followed by two more votes to remove protections for the northern long-eared bat and to rescind the Biden administration’s expanded definition of “habitat,” which would severely curtail which lands or waters could be considered in ESA designations. President Biden has vowed to veto both resolutions should they pass the House, stating that they would undermine our country’s proud tradition of wildlife conservation and risk the extinction of many critical species.

This is part of a larger pattern of attacks on the ESA driven primarily by development and gas and oil interests. Just last week, House Republicans held a hearing “evaluating the costs of the Endangered Species Act” and advocating for individual landowners to make decisions about the future of these species, over scientists and experts. House Republicans also released their interior and environment appropriations bill which proposes funding for everything from the Environmental Protection Agency to the Department of Interior for the Fiscal Year 2024. The bill includes specific provisions rescinding protections under the ESA for critical species like the gray wolf, lesser prairie-chicken, northern long-eared bat, and sage grouse. And we expect to see additional amendments attacking endangered species and their habitats throughout this process.

What Can You Do?

Contact your Representative and tell them to oppose these attacks on the Endangered Species Act.