The Endangered Species Act is a conservation success story, with 99 percent of species added to the list saved. Yet the current administration is attempting to weaken the Act's protections.

© Meril Darees & Manon Moulis

8/23/2018 4:01:25 PM

Threats to the Endangered Species Act

By Geoff York, Senior Director of Conservation

Ten years after the polar bear was listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, the White House is attempting to weaken the protections that have made the legislation so successful.

Under the Endangered Species Act, about 99 percent of the species listed as endangered are still around—an astounding success rate! Yet the Act is under attack today, with proposed revisions that would greatly reduce its effectiveness.

For anyone who cares about wildlife and healthy ecosystems, the attempts to weaken the Endangered Species Act are misguided and appear part of a larger agenda to weaken the foundational laws that protect the air, waters, and environment in the United States. 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service are accepting public comments on proposed changes through September 24, 2018. If you're a U.S. citizen, can we count on you to voice your opposition to these revisions?

Individual comments carry far more weight than petitions. That’s why we’re urging you to speak up in support of endangered and threatened wildlife—and to encourage your friends, family members, and colleagues to do the same. Together, we can let this administration and Congress know that a strong majority of the American public opposes efforts to remove the guardrails that have made the Act so effective.

Here’s a link to the public comments page

We also urge you to contact your representatives to express your concerns. As with individual comments, hearing directly from constituents makes a difference.

Here’s a link on how to get in touch with your representatives

A few talking points for your consideration:

  • The Endangered Species Act is an American success story. During its 40-year history, around 99 percent of species listed under the Act have avoided extinction.
  • Without the Act’s current protections, wildlife including the black-footed ferret, the grizzly bear, and the bald eagle may not be here today.
  • Newly listed threatened species would lose protections under the revised Act, putting their populations at greater risk.

In addition, the proposed changes would:

  • Elevate corporate and political interests while reducing the role of science and the public in decision-making.
  • Greatly weaken the ability of wildlife managers to designate critical habitat.
  • Give greater power to government agencies with no expertise in wildlife conservation.
  • Remove the strong guardrails that are a hallmark of the Endangered Species Act’s success.

Thanks so much for joining us in speaking up. These threats to our environment are a good reminder of how important it is to share your views with your representatives and to vote in each and every election, at all levels of government, with wildlife, healthy ecosystems, and the climate in mind.

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