Organizational Support for the Endangered Species Act


The Honorable _____

United States Senate

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator _____:

On behalf of the undersigned organizations and our members, we write to express our strong support for the Endangered Species Act. The Act faces unprecedented threat. Using   misleading words such as “update,” “modernize,” or “reform,” the Act’s opponents ultimately seek to undermine its core principles, gut its scientific basis, and abandon its common-sense approach to conserving imperiled wildlife.

The Endangered Species Act is our nation’s most effective law for protecting wildlife and plants in danger of extinction. Thanks to its effectiveness, more than 99 percent of the nearly 1,800 U.S. animals and plants protected by it have been saved from extinction. Today, our children and grandchildren can still see bald eagles, American alligators, brown pelicans, Channel island foxes, stellar sea lions, Tennessee purple coneflowers, and humpback whales in the wild thanks to the Act. The Endangered Species Act works.

The Endangered Species Act is extremely effective because it relies on a foundation of peer-reviewed, best available science in its listing, consultation, recovery and delisting decisions. This reliance on rigorous science ensures that the implementing agencies can successfully prevent extinction and conserve species’ habitat. Recovery cannot occur without making sure that animals and plants have places to live. Protecting the habitat of endangered animals and plants from human-caused threats ensures that species can establish enough populations to maintain genetic diversity and survive catastrophic events that may threaten any one population.

Like many environmental laws, the Act also allows citizens to engage and participate in its implementation. Scientific studies have shown that citizen-initiated petitions to protect animal and plant species are commonly targeted toward species that are under the greatest level of biological threat, and which have not yet been identified by the federal government as needing protections. And in the  instances where the government fails to use the best available science, the law allows for citizen suits to ensure that implementation meets the high standards of the Act.

The Endangered Species Act is a profoundly popular law that represents fundamental American principles. Polling over the past ten years has consistently shown that overwhelming majorities of American voters across party lines support the Endangered Species Act. The most recent poll shows that 90 percent of voters support the Endangered Species Act, including 96 percent of self-identified liberals and 82 percent of self-identified conservatives.

The Endangered Species Act helps to maintain the foundations of life for the American people and their families. By protecting healthy communities of plants and animals, it provides key ecosystem services and benefits including clean air, clean water, food, pollination, and medicines.  And by preserving millions of acres of forests, wetlands and beaches threatened by environmental degradation and destruction, the Act helps to protect vulnerable human communities from environmental challenges.

The conservation and restoration of animal and plant communities can also help mitigate and reduce the impacts of climate change. Studies show that areas replete with biodiversity are more resilient to events caused by climate change. These events—more frequent hurricanes, larger storm surges, and increased flooding—destroy homes, properties, and even lives. When plant and animal communities are intact, vulnerable human communities are more likely to be better protected from these impacts and to better adapt after impact. Furthermore, vulnerable communities rely on safe and healthy ecosystems for subsistence farming, hunting, and fishing for their families. And all communities rely on wild pollinators for food and nature for the development of medicines. While people of means can move to a cleaner environment that is rich in biodiversity, the most vulnerable among us—particularly those who live in frontline or sacrifice zone communities—face many more challenges when moving; they have fewer options for escape. Vulnerable communities suffer the effects of climate change first and worst.

Despite the Endangered Species Act’s tremendous success and popularity, it is under threat from industry groups and other wildlife opponents. A small yet vocal sector of the regulated community seeks to undermine and weaken the core principles of the Act, just so they can improve their bottom line. We cannot allow the Act to be weakened under the guise of soft-sounding catch phrases such as “reforms” or “tweaks.”

We ask you to support the Endangered Species Act and oppose any bill, rider or other policy proposal that weakens protections for endangered species and habitat. Given the hostile record of the current Congress to the ESA, efforts to rewrite this law would prove disastrous for imperiled wildlife and should be strongly opposed. Instead, we urge you to seek full funding and comprehensive implementation of the Act. The endangered species budget peaked in 2010 and has declined since then, even as more species are added to the endangered species list.  Thus, neither the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service nor the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) have sufficient funding to recover species.

We owe it to our children and grandchildren to be good stewards of the planet and leave behind a legacy of protecting endangered species and the special places they call home. Your position gives you a unique opportunity to support the Endangered Species Act, its programs, and its benefits. We strongly urge you  to not support legislative efforts to rewrite or diminish this incredibly effective law.



Advocates for Snake Preservation
Advocates for the West
Alabama Environmental Council
Alabama Ornithological Society
Alaska Wilderness League
Alaska Wildlife Alliance
Alaskans FOR Wildlife
America Forests
American Bird Conservancy
American Birding Association
American Rivers
Animal Legal Defense Fund
Animal Welfare Institute
Animals Are Sentient Beings, Inc.
Animas Valley Institute
Antelope Valley Conservancy
Atlantic Energy
Audubon California
Audubon Naturalist Society
Audubon New Mexico
Audubon Rockies
Audubon Society of Portland
Berkeley Partners for Parks
Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT)
Beyond Toxics
Bird Conservation Network
Black Warrior Riverkeeper
Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project
Boise Chapter of Great Old Broads for Wilderness
Born Free USA
Boulder Rights of Nature, Inc.
Brooks Range Council
Buffalo Field Campaign
Butterfly Farms
California Chaparral Institute
California Native Plant Society
California ReLeaf
California Wildlife Foundation/California Oaks
California Wolf Center
Californians for Western Wilderness
Carnivore Coexistence Lab
Carroll County Bird Club
Cascades Raptor Center
Cascadia Wildlands
Cellular Tracking Technologies
Center for Biological Diversity
Center for Food Safety
Center for Public Environmental Oversight
Center for Study of Responsive Law
Cetacean Society International
Children’s Advocacy Institute
Chris Wildlife Consulting
Citizens Committee to Complete the Refuge
Citizens for Los Angeles Wildlife (CLAW)
Citizens’ Climate Lobby
Clean Water Action
Clean Water Alliance
Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection
Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center
Conservancy of Southwest Florida
Conservation Council for Hawai’i
Conservation Northwest
Conservatives for Responsible Stewardship
Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology
Cottonwood Environmental Law Center
Crawford Stewardship Project
Cumberkand-Harpeth Audubon Society
Defenders of Wildlife
Delaware Center for Inland Bays
Delaware Valley Ornithological Club
Delmarva Ornithological Society
Difference Makers Media, LLC
Discover Life in America
E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation
Earth Action, Inc.
Eastern Coyote/Coywolf Research
Ecology Party of Florida
Endangered Habitats League
endangered small animal conservation fund
Endangered Wolf Center
Environmental Justice Leadership Forum on Climate Change
Environmental Protection Information Center
Essential Information
Eyak Preservation Council
Fairmont, MN Peace Group
Fields Pond Audubon Center
Five Valleys Audubon Sociey
Food & Water Watch
Food Empowerment Project
For All Animals
Foundation for Global Sustainability
Friends of Blackwater
Friends of the Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge
Friends of the Bitterroot
Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness
Friends of the Capital Crescent Trail
Friends of the Earth
Friends of the Eel River
Friends of the Kalmiopsis
Friends of the Upper Delaware River
Friends of the Wild Swan
Friends of the Wisconsin Wolf & Wildlife
Friends of Whitehaven Park
Fund for Wild Nature
Gallatin Wildlife Association
Geirgia ForestWatch
Gila Conservation Coalition
Gila Resources Information Project
Global Justice Ecology Project
Golden Eagle Audubon Society
Grand Canyon Trust
Great Old Broads for Wilderness
Greenpeace USA
Gulf Restoration Network
Harford County Bird Club
HawkWatch International
Heart of the Wild Yellowstone Community
Hells Canyon Preservation Council
Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History
Hoosier Environmental Council
Howard County Bird Club
Humane Society Legislative Fund
Humane Society of the United States
Idaho Sporting Congress, Inc.
Illinois Humane
In Defense of Animals
Indivisible Cenla
Information Network for Responsible Mining
Inland Ocean Coalition
International Fund for Animal Welfare
International Marine Mammal Project of Earth Island Institute
International Society for the Preservation of the Tropical Rainforest
Iowa Audubon
Jesus People Against Pollution
John Muir Project of Earth Island Institute
Kentucky Heartwood
Key Deer Protection Alliance
Kinninnick Native Plantg Society
Klamath Forest Alliance
Kunak Ecological Studiex
Last Chance Audubon Society
League of Conservation Voters
Lehigh Valley Audubon Society
Living with Wolves
Los Angeles Audubon Society
Los Padres ForestWatch
Louisiana Audubon Council
Madison Audubon Society
Mankato Area Environmentalists
Marine Conservation Institute
Marine Mammal Alliance Nantucket
Maryland Ornithological Association
Maryland Ornithological Society
Miami Waterkeeper
Michigan Audubon
Midwest Environmental Advocates
Mission Mountain Audubon
Mobile Bay Audubon Society
Monmouth County Audubon Society
Montana Audubon
Montana Wilderness Association
Mt. Diablo Audubon Society
Museum of Life and Science
Napa County Water, Forest and Oak Woodland Protection Initiative
Nashville Chapter of The Tennessee Ornitholgoical Society
National Audubon Society
National Parks Conservation Association
National Wolfwatcher Coalition
Native Plant Society of Oregon
Natural Resources Council of Maine
New Mexico Wilderness Alliance
New York City Audubon
NH Animal Rights League, Inc.
North Carolina Native Plant Society
North Cascades Conservation Council
North County Watch
Northeast Oregon Ecosystems
Northern Alaska Environmental Center
Northern Jaguar Project
Northwest Environmental Advocates
Ocean Conservation Research
Ocean Futures Society
Oceanic Preservation Society (OPS)
Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition
One More Generation
Oregon Natural Desert Association
Oregon Wild
Our Wisconsin, Our Wildlife
Pacific Rivers
Park County Environmental Council
Patagonia Area Resource Alliance (PARA)
Peace and Freedom Party .org
Pennsylvania Society for Ornithology
Penobscot Solar Design
Pintler Audubon Society
Polar Bears International
Prairie Rivers Network
Predator Defense
Project Coyote
Public Citizen
Rachel Carson Council
Raptors Are The Solution
Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center
RESTORE: The North Woods
Rockbridge Bird Club
Rocky Mountain Wild
Sailors for the Sea
Salem Audubon Society
San Fernando Valley Audubon Society
San Gabriel Mountains Forever
SandyHook SeaLife Foundation
Sangre de Cristo Audubon Society
Santa Barbara Channelkeeper
Santa Monica Bay Audubon Society
Save Our Sky Blue Waters
Save the Manatee Club
Save the Yellowstone Grizzly
Selkirk Conservation Alliance
Sequoia ForestKeeper®
Seventh Generation Advisors
Sierra Club
Sky Island Alliance
Slow Food USA
South Florida Wildlands Associatin
Southeastern Avian Research
Southern Colorado Environmental Council
Southern Environmental Law Center
Southern Oregon Climate Action Now
Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance
Southwest Environmental Center
Southwest Environmental Law Center
Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center
Studio Stef
Sugar Shack Records
Sunridge Saddlebreds
Sustainable World Coalition
Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo
Tennessee Ornithogical Society
Tennessee Ornithological Society
The Clinch Coalition
The Cloud Foundation
The Endangered Wolf Center
The Imani Group, Inc.
The International Wildlife Rehabilitation Counciil
The Lands Council
The Maine Wolf Coalition, Inc.
The Network of Spiritual Progressives
The Ocean Foundation
The Rewilding Institute
The Safina Center
The Urban Wildlands Group
Todd Bird Club
Trustees for Alaska
Tucson Audubon Society
Turtle Island Restoration Network
Union of Concerned Scientists
Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition
Utah Native Plant Society
Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment
Ventana Wilderness Alliance
VetVoice Foundation
Virginia Native Plant Society
Voices of Wildlife in NH
WaterWatch of Oregon
WE ACT for Environmental Justice
West Virginia Rivers Coalition
Western Environmental Law Center
Western Watersheds Project
Whidbey Environmental Action Network
White Mountain Conservation League
Wholly H2O
Wild Nature Institute
Wild Ones Natural Landscapers, Ltd.
Wild Utah Project
Wild Virginia
Wild Zone Conservation League
WildEarth Guardians
Wilderness Watch
Wilderness Workshop
Wildlands Network
Wildlife Alliance of Maine
WildWatch Maine
WildWest Institute
Wolf Conservation Center
Wolf Haven International
Wolf Hollow
Wyoming Untrapped
Yellowstone Valley Audubon Society
Zoo New England