Take Action to Defend the Endangered Species Act!
Two bills in Congress, including one sponsored by Oregon's Rep. Greg Walden, would weaken America’s safety net for endangered fish and wildlife
Congress is considering two bills, one sponsored by Oregon’s Rep. Greg Walden, that would dramatically weaken the Endangered Species Act. Please take a few minutes to call your Representative and urge them to oppose any effort to weaken the Act. Tell them that you oppose the “Critical Habitat Reform Act of 2003” (HR 2933) and the “Sound Science for Endangered Species Act Planning Act” (HR 1662). The Endangered Species Act isn’t broken, and it doesn’t need fixing, especially when the “fix” would undermine efforts to protect America’s threatened and endangered animals, plants, and fish!
ONRC Alert #188 - July 20, 2004.
The House Resources Committee will vote on two bills that would weaken Endangered Species Act protections on Wednesday, July 21st. The committee will mark-up the “Critical Habitat Reform Act of 2003” (HR 2933) and the “Sound Science for Endangered Species Act Planning Act” (HR 1662). These bills would weaken habitat protection for endangered species and make it more difficult to list species under the Endangered Species Act. Please call your representatives today and urge them to oppose these bills, and any other effort to weaken the Endangered Species Act!
The Endangered Species Act is a safety net for wildlife, plants and fish that are on the brink of extinction. Thanks for taking this important action to protect that safety net!
Please take a few minutes to call your Representative today and urge them to oppose any efforts to weaken the Endangered Species Act. Tell them that they should specifically oppose the “Critical Habitat Reform Act of 2003” (HR 2933) and the “Sound Science for Endangered Species Act Planning Act” (HR 1662).
Be sure to mention:
- It isn’t broke, and doesn’t need fixing. The Endangered Species Act already requires federal biologists to use “the best available science” when making decisions about how to protect threatened fish and wildlife.
- You can’t protect fish and wildlife without protecting their homes. Federal biologists need to define critical habitat areas for threatened species so that they know where to concentrate their restoration efforts.
- Don’t smother endangered animals, plants, and fish under a mountain of red tape. Walden’s bill would create a vast new bureaucracy aimed at tying the hands of federal biologists and adding years of delay to actions needed to protect endangered species.
- We need checks and balances. The Endangered Species Act serves as a safety net for America’s fish and wildlife. We can’t afford to weaken it and give special interests to have free reign over our nation’s natural heritage.
Oregon Congressional Delegation information:
U.S. Rep. David Wu
Oregon's First District
U.S. Rep. Greg Walden
Oregon's Second District
U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer
Oregon's Third District
U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio
Oregon's Fourth District
U.S. Rep. Darlene Hooley
Oregon's Fifth District
Rep. Dennis Cardoza’s (D-CA) “Critical Habitat Reform Act of 2003” (HR 2933) tries to undermine protections for the places that endangered plants and animals need to survive and recover. The bill attempts to make the designation of critical habitat, the very places endangered species need to recover, voluntary rather than mandatory as the Endangered Species Act currently requires, by removing all legal deadlines. It changes the definition of critical habitat, creates loopholes and makes it increasingly hard for species to return from the brink of extinction.
Critical habitat is one of the most important protections in the Endangered Species Act. Scientists tell us that one of the best ways to protect species it to protect the places they live. One of the main reasons why species are becoming endangered is habitat loss. We owe it to our children and grandchildren to be good stewards of the environment and leave behind a legacy of protecting endangered species and the special places they call home.
Rep. Walden’s (R-OR) “Sound Science for Endangered Species Act Planning Act” (HR 1662) seeks to undercut the use of the best science. By requiring government agencies to “give greater weight” to some kinds of science over others, it seeks to restrict the use of important methods that scientists currently use to assess species’ protection, such as statistical tools that often provide the most telling insights about the species. Scientists, not Congress, should determine which science best addresses any given issue.
The Endangered Species Act already requires the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to use the most rigorous science available in developing balanced solutions to prevent the extinction of endangered fish, plants and wildlife. Developers, and the politicians they give money to, are trying to weaken the Endangered Species Act. They are manipulating science to fit their political agenda and working to remove the checks and balances that help protect people from special interests.