Keep The Endangered Species Act Strong: Constituents Oppose Rollback In Species Protections

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A broad coalition of conservation groups recently called on
the Bush administration to halt efforts to weaken the Endangered Species Act.
To date, more than 100,000 citizens have come out in opposition of a rule
change proposed by the Bush Administration.

The Bush Administration’s plans to rollback protections for America have
imperiled wildlife by re-writing the regulations of the Endangered Species
Act.

According to leaked
documents obtained by National Wildlife Federation
, the proposed changes
would weaken the safety net of habitat protections that have helped protect and
recover endangered fish, wildlife and plants for the past 35 years.

“A remarkable number of America’s hunters, anglers,
conservationists and concerned citizens have joined together to rebuff this
sneak attack,” said John Kostyack, Executive Director of Wildlife Conservation
and Global Warming at the National Wildlife Federation. “It would be unconscionable
to move forward with this proposal in the face of such staunch opposition.”

Many of the changes in the rule change seeks to eliminate or reduce the
requirement that federal agencies consult with independent scientists about
impacts on listed species.

National Wildlife Federation helped raise the alarm on the
rollback after it obtained a leaked copy of the regulations in April. According
to comments submitted by the groups, the proposed changes violate the spirit
and the language of the Endangered Species Act by reducing the role of
scientific review of projects that may impact endangered fish, wildlife and
plants.

“The consultation process is a cornerstone of the Endangered
Species Act,” said Kostyack. “Allowing federal agencies to forgo this process
would put America’s
treasured plants, fish and wildlife at risk.”

Last week, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility
(PEER) released
documents
claiming top Bush Administration officials have forbidden
wildlife agencies from analyzing the effects of greenhouse gas emissions from
coal-fired power-plants or any other project on species and habitat. These
directives are designed to block the Endangered Species Act (ESA) from being
used as a legal tool for addressing global warming.

 

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