Feb 15

Senate Committee Aims to Weaken Endangered Species Act

Endangered Species Advocates Vow to Protect Landmark Conservation Law

Washington, DC – On Wednesday, Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) kicked off the latest Republican-led attack on one of our nation’s most important laws for protecting wildlife and habitat. The Endangered Species Act was the target of a Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee hearing this morning, led by Sen. Barrasso, and included a former Governor and the president of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau as witnesses. Former Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Dan Ashe spoke in favor of the Endangered Species Act, and highlighted the need for more funding and resources.

The hearing comes after Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) recently announced he would like to “repeal” the Endangered Species Act. An advisor to President Trump has also expressed a desire to overhaul the Act.

“In poll after poll, huge majorities of Democrats and Republicans Americans across the country have consistently confirmed they support the Endangered Species Act, and they want wildlife decisions based upon science, not politics.”

“In poll after poll, huge majorities of Democrats and Republicans Americans across the country have consistently confirmed they support the Endangered Species Act, and they want wildlife decisions based upon science, not politics,” said Leda Huta, Executive Director of the Endangered Species Coalition. “We know that Americans want to ensure this safety net for wildlife, birds, plants, and fish stays intact to protect our wildlife heritage for future generations.”

Scientific consensus indicates that we are in the sixth wave of extinction. The main tool in the United States to battle this human-caused crisis is the Endangered Species Act, which has been very effective in keeping species from sliding into extinction.

During the last Congress, there were more than 100 bills or riders introduced aimed at weakening the Endangered Species Act or the species it protects.

“If wildlife opponents in Congress or the Trump Administration want to try to gut our nation’s safety net for imperiled wildlife, they will have a huge fight on their hands,” added Huta. “We will spare no effort to protect the law that protects endangered species and the special places they call home.”

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