Today, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced the restoration of rules under the Endangered Species Act that help protect endangered species when government decisions or projects are implemented. The rules were weakened in the final days of the Bush administration.

The Department of Interior sent out this press release announcing the decision today.

Their decision requires federal agencies to once again consult with federal wildlife experts at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration before taking any action that may affect threatened or endangered species. The action will restore an important check-and-balance system that enables government projects to move forward and at the same time protect at-risk species. The restoration of these protections is amazing news for our country’s wildlife, fish and plants on the brink of extinction.

Making this decision within the first 100 days of office is also an important symbol that America will once again respect science and environmental protections. The Endangered Species Coalition is incredibly grateful to President Obama, Secretary Locke and Secretary Salazar for their leadership on addressing the urgent environmental issues of species extinction and global warming.

For more information, check out the ESC statement.

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