This week, the U.S. Senate will begin debate on the anti-wildlife budget bill (CR) recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. If passed as written, this funding bill will be a disaster for our nation's wildlife and wild places. It would invalidate water conservation agreements that have been in place for decades and prevented even greater losses of endangered salmon in California, make it nearly impossible for concerned citizens like you and I to seek the help of courts in the enforcement of federal regulations, prevent the regulation of emissions that are causing global climate change and, for the first time in history, remove Endangered Species Act protections for a single species-the Northern Rockies gray wolf. Urge the Senate to remove the anti-wildlife language from this bill.
This bill completely eliminates or deeply cuts programs that are critical to our environment and our nation's endangered and threatened species.
Among the programs that could be defunded under this bill are the Land and Water Conservation Fund, State Wildlife Grants, the Antiquities Act, the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, among many others.
The bill will allow for the loss or destruction of critical habitat for endangered and threatened wildlife, make it more difficult for citizens to go to court to force the federal government to enforce existing conservation laws, and give polluters free rein to operate with disregard for the health of our nation. With nearly 600 unnecessary amendments included, this bill would slash critically important programs that help safeguard America's wildlife and wild places. The bill would also overturn court decisions that protect our air, water and endangered species.
It overrules the expert opinion of scientists on California’s incredible San Francisco Bay Delta and instead further subsidizes corporate special interests. By negating the biological opinions of scientific experts, it jeopardizes the existence of salmon and Delta smelt and the health of the entire Bay ecosystem, which is reliant on its life-giving water supply. .
Lastly, this bill would mark a grave milestone in the nation's history if passed as written. Never before has Congress opted to get involved in individual species management. The removal of Endangered Species Act protections from Northern Rockies gray wolves is anti-science and sets policy making onto a slippery slope of de-listing species based on political expedience.
A spending bill is no place to make such momentous and ill-advised decisions.
This vote is critically important for our nation, and I will be watching it.