Name: Oppose Federal Legislation that Sidelines Protections for Endangered Species
Bill Numbers: HR 3608, HR 6344, HR 6345, HR 6355, HR 6354, HR 6356, HR 6360, HR 6364
The U.S. House of Representatives is considering multiple bills
that would amend the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The ESA has been the leading piece of
science-based legislation used to protect and assist in the recovery of
biodiversity in the United States. However, these amendments would undermine
the vital protections of plant and animal species around the country.
If passed, the bills would effectively sideline science by taking
away authority from scientists and wildlife experts and give it to states,
which often lack the resources or political will needed to save wildlife from
extinction. At the same time, regulatory changes are being proposed by the
Secretary of the Interior, putting the entire ESA at risk.
These bills disregard the welfare of endangered animals for
corporate prospects such as mining, ranching and building pipelines. As a whole,
they would amend the ESA to such an extent that endangered and threatened
species could no longer rely on federal protections to survive.
The following bills are under consideration:
Call to Actions:
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Save the Endangered Species Act from Endangerment
Dear [Decision Maker],
I am writing to ask you to oppose legislation HR 3608, HR 6344, HR 6345, HR 6346, HR 6354, HR 6355, HR 6356, HR 6360 and HR 6364, all of which would amend the Endangered Species Act and strip federal protections from listed endangered and threatened species. These bills favor industry over sound science and would turn over the protection of plants and wildlife to state authority, which has proved unreliable in the past as a steward of endangered and threated species. The bills listed below would undermine the purpose of the ESA and strip needed federal government protections from critically-endangered plant and animal species. --HR 3608: Includes state, tribal and local data, regardless of its quality, in ESA listing decisions; redefines "best available science" and strips authority from scientists in making ESA listing decisions based on proprietary studies. --HR 6344: Prioritizes private conservation efforts in place of ESA federal protections. --HR 6345: Shifts much of the authority for protecting imperiled species under the ESA from the federal government to the states.--HR 6346: Allows federal agencies to approve a project that may harm threatened or endangered species or their habitat if other current or proposed protections exist to improve that habitat elsewhere.--HR 6354: Prevents water infrastructure areas such as dams or reservoirs from being included as a critical habitat for a listed species.--HR 6355: Allows the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to throw out listing petitions awaiting action if there is a "backlog" of petitions.--HR: 6356: Expedites the existing process to de-list species in order to remove protections for imperiled species. The bill would also restrict citizen petitions if they had previously submitted inaccurate species data in a lawsuit. --HR 6360: Prohibits a wildlife agency from revoking a permit due to incidental harm to an endangered species.--HR 6364: Shifts some power from the federal government to states, tribes and local governments each of which have significantly fewer resources to protect species listed on the Endangered Species Act. Proposed amendments to the ESA would transfer authority to the states to make scientific judgments on what species should or should not be listed. Unfortunately, states often lack the resources to make those scientific judgments, while at the same time coming under political pressure to accommodate local commercial interests at the expense of plant and animal protection. These amendments would eviscerate key provisions of the ESA, and in doing so would push an increasing number of species toward extinction. The ESA works to prevent extinction and has been very successful in helping facilitate the recovery process of hundreds of species. It does not need to be changed as it is accomplishing exactly what it is charged with doing: protecting threatened and endangered plants and animals and aiding in their recovery. Proposed changes to ESA regulations by the Department of Interior would at the same time remove critical habitat that many species require to survive. This concerted attack on the ESA does not serve the interests of the United States or the American people, or the threatened and endangered plants and animals that live here.I hope that you will oppose the passage of any legislation that would weaken the vital and effective protections of the Endangered Species Act.Thank you for your consideration.
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]