READERS' PICK: A small staff of tenacious lawyers, policy analysts, academics and volunteers makes up this local office of environmental advocacy. Inspired by a true love of the outdoors and an unwavering belief that there is room in this world for everything that lives and breathes, regardless of its ability to walk upright or speak our language, the Center for Biological Diversity aims to put our ailing legal system to good use to protect endangered species and penalize the ecologically pinheaded (regrettably, a subset of our species that is not sufficiently endangered). Local issues they've tackled in recent years include Mexican wolf reintroduction, the infamous cactus ferruginous pygmy owl, the electrocution of Harris hawks on TEP power lines, "rewilding" the Gila, protecting the fragile San Pedro River area and acquiring habitat for the Arizona/New Mexico goshawk and the red-legged frog. And in this state where copper, cows and concrete reign supreme, they need all the help they can get.
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