There’s still time to defend the Endangered Species Act!

There’s still time to defend the Endangered Species Act!

ConservationNWAdmin / Sep 21, 2018 / Restoring Wildlife, WILD NW Action Alert

WILD NW Action Alert #281:Through Monday, 9/24, you can help stop the Trump administration’s assault on one of our nation’s most successful and effective wildlife conservation laws.

 

The Endangered Species Act is one of the world’s most important environmental laws, representing core American values of stewardship, conservation and science-based reasoning. Through Monday, you can take action to protect the ESA!

The ESA serves as a safety net for protecting the diversity of life when all other efforts fail. It has provided a chance at survival for the spotted owl, marbled murrelet, Canada lynx, sage grouse, wolf, wolverine and grizzly bear, as well as many other species, great and small, across the Pacific Northwest.

Lynx are endangered in Washington and need ESA protections to recover! Photo: Patrick Reeves

But now, amidst ongoing attacks on the law in Congress, the Trump administration is proposing changes to ESA regulations that would lift key safeguards and reduce protections for wildlife facing dire extinction threats. The changes would remove protections for “threatened” species, insert economic factors into biological listing assessments, and make it harder to protect wildlife habitat for recovery.

Help protect America’s fish and wildlife and defend the Endangered Species Act.

Submit your comment today and tell the Trump administration you strongly oppose harmful changes to the ESA. Please copy the comments below and paste into this form!

Thank you,

Dave Werntz,

Science and Conservation Director

Suggested Comments

Subject: FWS Rulemaking Dockets: FWS-HQ-ES-2018-0006; FWS-HQ-ES-2018-0007; FWS-HQ-ES-2018-0009

I’m writing to oppose key adverse changes to Endangered Species Act rules that would reduce protections for wildlife facing extinction. I care deeply for our nation’s wildlife and am a strong supporter of the Endangered Species Act. It is a bedrock American environmental law that protects our most vulnerable wildlife, providing a backstop against irretrievable loss of the nation’s natural heritage.

Retain blanket protections for species listed as “threatened” under the Act, because removing the 4(d) rule could cause imperiled wildlife to endure habitat loss and other threats. Requiring rule-making from scratch in lieu of allowing blanket protections until more tailored rules are developed will also place a large burden on overworked staff, further delaying key protections for species.

Keep listing decisions scientifically-focused on biology, not economics, to ensure an accurate account of which species most need care and attention. Even though the rule is saying economic information won’t be part of the listing decision, including it as part of a listing package will be confusing, and add yet another cost to the process.

I am opposed to any weakening of habitat protections that will be harmful to vulnerable wildlife, including around unoccupied habitat for recovery, where agency consultation is required or resulting from climate change.

Finally, I am opposed to weakening the Section 7 consultation process by changing the definition and practice of what is considered an “effect” of an agency action. In the complex world we live in with many interacting reasons for species decline, I am concerned proposed changes will reduce the effectiveness of this crucial part of the ESA.

I encourage you to focus efforts on strengthening the Endangered Species Act’s rules by focusing on improving wildlife recovery efforts. With all the pressure on wildlife from population growth, development and the looming threat of climate change, we need a strong and effective Endangered Species Act now more than ever.

Thank you.

Want to learn more about threats to the Endangered Species Act? Check out our statement here!