Mar 14

“Wolf” Delivers Letter from Businesses to U.S. Lawmakers Opposing Anti-wildlife Appropriations Riders

Conservation Groups Aim to Thwart Congressional Attack on Endangered Species

Washington, DC – Representatives of conservation groups on Wednesday–along with Journey, the wolf mascot –delivered to lawmakers on Capitol Hill a letter opposing efforts to weaken protections for imperiled wildlife. The letter, which remains open, has already been signed by approximately 80 businesses expressing support for the Endangered Species Act and opposition to “any bill that would weaken protections for endangered species and their habitat.”

This photo and others available here for media use.

The letter delivery comes as lawmakers debate several, must-pass appropriations bills for 2018. A few specific policy riders that weaken the Endangered Species Act and block or remove protections for imperiled wildlife. A rider that would not only congressionally delist the Great Lakes and Wyoming wolves, but would also block any future lawsuits, even if these wolves once again become gravely imperiled, is among one of the most controversial proposals (House Interior Sec 116, Senate Interior Sec 120).

The letter reads, in part, “As American business owners, we encourage you to strongly support the Endangered Species Act. The Act has been successful in protecting the bald eagle, American alligator, Pacific salmon, humpback whale, brown pelican, as well as many other species. It also works to protect endangered species’ habitat, such as the mountains, river valleys, grasslands, wetlands, deserts, coastal beaches and other open spaces that we enjoy.”

The business letter follows the delivery of letters from 241 conservation groups, 31 U.S. Senators, and 104 U.S. Representatives – all opposing the inclusion of anti-wildlife riders on appropriations bills.

Under consideration in the FY 2018 House and Senate Interior/EPA appropriations bills are 12 riders that would undermine the Endangered Species Act, one of our nation’s most successful, popular laws and the law that saved our national symbol, the bald eagle, from extinction. These riders include attacks on protections for particular species including the greater sage grouse (House Interior Sec 113, Senate Interior Sec 114), the lesser prairie chicken (Senate Interior Sec 121), and potentially hundreds of other species (House Interior Sec 458). These riders also target key portions of the overall Endangered Species Act including interagency consultation requirements (Senate Interior Sec 431) and citizen enforcement of the Act (House Interior Sec 461), which limits attorney fees for successful plaintiffs in cases brought under the Endangered Species Act and other core environmental laws.

“Americans know that we have a responsibility to our kids, grandkids and great-grandkids to protect endangered species and the places they call home. They know the Endangered Species Act works, and they are incredibly worried that politicians in Congress are seeking to undermine this safety net for plants and wildlife on the brink of extinction,” stated Leda Huta, Executive Director of the Endangered Species Coalition.

The Endangered Species Act of 1973 was a landmark conservation law that passed Congress with overwhelming bipartisan support (92-0 in the Senate, and 394-4 in the House). Although some members of Congress are now seeking to weaken this safety net for fish, plants and wildlife on the brink of extinction, recent polling indicates that the law maintains strong, bipartisan, public support even today.

More than 1,300 imperiled species of plants, fish and wildlife in the United States have been protected by the Endangered Species Act, and only ten have gone extinct, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Additionally, a 2012 study found that 90 percent of protected species are recovering at the pace expected in their scientific recovery plans.

“Not only is the Endangered Species Act our safety net for wildlife, plants, and fish, but it can also protect species critical to human health and wellbeing, such as bees and other pollinators,” said Huta. “Furthermore, the Act’s protection of biodiversity is critical for vulnerable communities which are often on the frontlines of environmental destruction and have the most to lose.”

 

4 Comments on “Wolf” Delivers Letter from Businesses to U.S. Lawmakers Opposing Anti-wildlife Appropriations Riders

  1. Carol Butler says:

    Thank You.i truly believe in the ESA. And Agree no TOXIC RIDERS should be attached to any budget bill.to weaken the ESA. Sorry but that Zinke is a snake in the grass!! We need him out of the DOI

  2. Lawrence Gordin says:

    I am ashamed to say that we are now living in a country where there is a concerted attack on anything beneficial and supportive of the environment, ecology, animals and plants and science. The EPA and Endangered Species Act are being dismantled. A world without the Endangered Species Act is a world without humanity. Climate change is being denied or minimized. The EPA under Scott Pruitt and the Trump administration has become a cruel joke (the environmental prevention agency). Scientists are gagged or fired. The best people in the EPA are leaving in disgust. War is being declared on many species vital to a healthy, thriving ecosystem such as wolves. Wolves, bears, and other animals are targeted largely because they allegedly interfere with ranchers unrestricted control and use of the environment (often public land) for their cattle to run roughshod over and decimate as they graze. Bees, vital to our agriculture, are being wiped out by dangerous pesticides.

    Once upon a time Native Americans realized they were part of nature and respected the environment and all animals. Then we white men came, thought we were separate from and decided to conquer nature and we’re on our way to destroying the planet. I ask you who were and are the more civilized?

    I would not be able to vote for or support anyone, democrat or republican, who votes to kill wolves and other wildlife, or undo the Endangered Species Act.
    Reject any riders which seek to strip the Endangered Species Act protections from wolves and other wildlife.

    Stop the war on wolves and other wildlife and the environment.
    Wolves don’t wipe out elk and other species. They take the weak and injured and strengthen the herd. They don’t slaughter the healthiest specimens. Hunters however do just that – killing “trophy animals” – by doing so, weaken the gene pool. As was demonstrated in Yellowstone, the reintroduction of wolves brought the ecosystem there back from the brink of human caused collapse. Wolves even help combat chronic wasting disease. Many ranchers allow their cattle to strip the land and corporate large scale farmers destroy the biodiversity needed for a healthy ecosystem while poisoning bees and other beneficial species with insecticides. Ranchers even sometimes purposefully graze their cattle near wolf dens, so they can kill the wolves including pups when they are lured to kill or threaten a cow or calf. Killing wolves after a cattle attack is no more right than killing ranchers for their repeated attacks on wolves.

    The importance of wolves to the ecosystem was illustrated in Yellowstone National Park. The gray wolf was Yellowstone’s apex predator until their extermination in the 1920’s. Elk populations exploded and the resulting overgrazing of willows and aspen seedlings and saplings was devastating, causing a trophic cascade ecosystem collapse. Beavers, who needed willows and aspen for food, shelter, and dam building. all but disappeared. Beavers play an important role in creating and enhancing habitat for many other species of animals and plants. With the disappearance of beavers, dams disintegrated turning marsh ponds into streams and there was massive loss of mature willows and aspen and erosion. Many plant and animal species suffered adverse effects. Various scavenger species (i.e. eagle, bear, raven) suffered without year-round wolf kills to feed on. In the absence of wolves, coyotes became an apex predator, driving down populations of prong horn antelope, red fox, rodents, and birds (including those that feed on rodents). In 1995, using the Endangered Species Act, the grey wolf was reintroduced to Yellowstone to restore balance. The positive effect was dramatic. The entire ecosystem began to recover from the damage caused by human intervention. Elk numbers dropped to a manageable number and wary elk spent less time in one place, allowing seedlings and saplings to grow. Beaver colonies increased from 1 to 12 after reintroduction of wolves. Coyote numbers dropped in half allowing antelope, fox and rodent populations to recover. Insects, fish, and amphibians began to thrive. Now, with a new war on wolves across the nation, we are showing that we haven’t learned a thing, hunting and trapping of wolves, bears, and other often endangered species of animals while allowing often destructive cattle grazing on public land. Additionally, use of lead ammunition is decimating scavenger species like eagles and California Condors. The lead enters the food chain and water eventually affecting people. Lead ammunition should be banned.

    Wolves appear to be the best defense against Chronic Wasting disease. Additionally, evidence shows that often killing wolves and destroying the cohesiveness of a pack actually increases predation on ranch and farm animals. This is especially true when the younger inexperienced animals lose their teachers that help them learn about bringing down wild prey and resort to domesticated “easier prey”.

    It’s a shame that wolves have more “humanity” than many or most people. Boycott Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Wisconsin, Washington, Oregon, Minnesota, Michigan and Alaska as long as they allow or condone wolf killing. Stop eating beef. Ranchers are the prime impetus on the war on wolves. We also must vote the federal, state and local politicians out of office that support this slaughter. Let’s make these cruel politicians endangered species (be they republicans or democrats).

    The only humane way to shoot wildlife is with a camera. A humane “trophy hunter” only collects a picture. The worth of a person can be judged by how one treats animals. An evil person is cruel to, abuses, or kills animals. A good person cares for and respects animals. “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

    Recently the Trump administration and U.S. Fish and Wildlife (more accurately called U.S. Ranchers and Oil) reversed the ban on importing trophies of Elephant parts shot for sport. Due to the uproar over allowing import of elephant trophies and other those of other endangered species, Trump delayed this disgusting, inhumane policy, but now has quietly continued. His own sons regularly slaughter endangered species including elephants, giraffes and others.

    “Sport hunting’ is a sickness, a perversion and a danger and should be recognized as such. People who get their amusement from hunting and killing defenseless animals can only be suffering from a mental disorder. In a world with boundless opportunities for amusement, it’s detestable that anyone would choose to get thrills from killing others who ask for nothing from life but the chance to remain alive.” – Sir Roger Moore (seven times James Bond).

  3. Irene - MD Metro says:

    We have been active for the last 8 or so years in Michigan to protect wolves
    I am saddened by the inhumanity

  4. GPC says:

    Much of the PUBLIC abhors indiscriminate slaughter or wolves; so many more of us than trappers , hounders and haters combined. But we must be VERY vocal with our legislators. Please take the time to contact yours.

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