This week’s Take Action Thursday urges action to oppose federal legislation that would endanger protections for threatened animal species.
During the past two weeks, the U.S. House of Representatives has embarked on an unprecedented attack on the Endangered Species Act (ESA), introducing a flurry of bills that would weaken the protection of currently-protected plants and animals.
New legislation would amend the ESA in numerous detrimental ways, including:
- allowing the federal government to outsource the protection of endangered and threatened species;
- shifting ESA enforcement and protection responsibilities from the federal government to states, tribes and local governments;
- removing protections of species from “incidental” harm; and
- undermining the authority of scientists in making decisions regarding the listing of species.
The ESA requires its determinations on listing or delisting animals to have a basis in a scientific analysis of habitat and other factors threatening listed species. These determinations are used to protect biodiversity and preserve individual species from disappearing altogether in the United States.
The proposed amendments to the ESA would effectively sideline science by taking away authority from scientists and wildlife experts and giving it to states, which often lack the resources or political will needed to save wildlife from extinction. These bills disregard the welfare of endangered and threatened animals in favor of corporate interests, such as mining, ranching and pipeline construction.
The ESA is one of the most successful laws adopted in the U.S. It does not need to be changed at the risk of endangering countless species across the country and removing the protections that have been the basis of that success.
Please ask your U.S. Representative to oppose any efforts to weaken the protections provided by the Endangered Species Act.
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