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Today, The Trump Administration announced its proposal to gut the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the legislation that protects our most threatened animals and plants from extinction. The very agencies who are charged with protecting and saving these species, the Department of Interior and Department of Commerce, are the ones proposing to weaken the ESA and strip the law of its bedrock provisions under the Trump Administration. The ESA has been a fundamental tool for wildlife protection and has resulted in numerous success stories including revitalizing populations of the grey wolf, the spotted owl, and the bald eagle. Help protect the Endangered Species Act by:
- Writing Secretary Zinke and your elected officials below letting them know you oppose this proposal and any Congressional attacks on the ESA
- Send your comments to the federal register here with the letter text provided below!
Here in Washington State, the ESA is essential in protecting critical species and their unique habitats. The 1988 listing of the spotted owl as an endangered species eventually led to widespread protections of ancient forests on our public lands. Each endangered or threatened species in Washington is an indicator of our environment’s health.
Now, the administration is attempting to sacrifice the health of fragile ecosystems and wildlife in order to boost oil and gas companies. The proposal would:
- remove a key provision of the 45-year old Act that would no longer economic impacts when determining whether imperiled species should be listed as threatened or endangered by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
- institute a new, narrower and limited definition of whether a plant or animal is listed as threatened or endangered
- make it more difficult to list a new species for protection and easier to remove those now on the list
- Have the potential to make it easier for roads, pipelines and other construction projects that may have impact to endangered species to gain approval than under current rules
- repeal The Section 4(d) rule which requires agencies to automatically extend protections to threatened species that mirror those of endangered species. Changing that rule could roll back protections.
- end the practice of extending similar protections to species regardless of whether they are listed as endangered or threatened. If the proposal is approved, likely by year’s end, protections for threatened plants and animals would be made on a case-by-case basis
Send in your comments today and help protect the Endangered Species Act!