The Bush Administration has weakened how the federal government protects endangered species - but Congress can reject the changes. Your voice is needed to keep the Endangered Species Act strong!
On December 11, 2008 the US Department of Interior announced that they were finalizing new rules on how government agencies implement the Endangered Species Act. Prior to these rules, which should take effect in 30 days, when a federal agency considered building a highway, a dam, a mine, etc., they were required to consult with the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) or National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) about impacts that their projects might have on species. Now, Federal agencies will get to decide for themselves whether they need to involve the Services, removing important checks and balances needed to keep our country’s fish, plants and wildlife safe.
The new rules purposely ignore global warming too. Despite the fact that endangered species are some of the most at risk from the effects of global warming, the proposed regulations would redefine key words in the law to try to prevent any action being taken to fight global warming on the species' behalf.
These regulations must be rejected. Congress has many tools to prevent these changes from being implemented. Please contact your members of congress and ask for their help in protecting endangered species!
The Endangered Species Act is the safety net for our nation's wildlife, fish and plants on the brink of extinction. The government has a responsibility to protect endangered species and leave a legacy for future generations. The Act requires that decisions be based on best available science. The Bush Administration's new regulations cut a hole in the safety net and take scientists out of the decision making process.
The new regulations would essentially allow agencies to decide for themselves if their actions would harm an endangered species - without consulting the experts within the Fish and Wildlife Service or National Marine Fisheries Service. That is unacceptable. We have agencies with expertise in protecting species; let's keep using them.
The Endangered Species Act is our nation's commitment to protecting the fish, plants and wildlife in danger of disappearing forever and this year marks its 35th anniversary. These drastic changes should not be made by the Bush Administration in a last minute attempt to weaken one of our nation’s most important environmental laws.
Please do all that you can to fight President Bush's last minute changes to weaken the Endangered Species Act. We are depending on you to preserve our nation’s commitment to protecting our wildlife and wild places.