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Restore the Endangered Species Act

Delivery to U.S. House of Representatives

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What’s At Stake

Despite overwhelming public support for the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the Trump administration gutted the bedrock law in an effort to advance the interests of corporations and polluters. Fortunately, we have a chance to undo their destruction and reinstate critical protections. The PAW and FIN Act would reverse the damage and restore the ESA to its full strength. Please join us in writing your congressperson to tell them it’s time to pass the PAW and FIN Act!

The act would undo several harmful actions taken by the Trump administration:

  • Injecting economic considerations into what must be purely science-based decisions about listing imperiled species
  • Depriving newly listed threatened species from automatically receiving protections from killing, trapping, and other forms of harm and commercial exploitation
  • Allowing agencies to write vague and insufficient plants to protect species

These damaging changes allow big businesses to shirk their duty to protect endangered species ⁠— which is why we sued the Trump administration to reverse the changes.

Earthjustice’s attorneys are among the best, but we can’t rest our hopes on litigation alone ⁠— we need you to add your voice to those speaking up for wildlife and wild places. Please join us in telling your members of Congress that it’s time to protect endangered species by passing the PAW and FIN Act.

Northern spotted owl in a clear cut
Joel Sartore / National Geographic

A federally threatened Northern spotted owl in a fresh clear cut near Merlin, Oregon.

Your Actions Matter

Your messages make a difference, even if we have leaders who don't want to listen. Here's why.

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You level the playing field.

Elected officials pay attention when they see that we are paying attention.

They may be hearing from industry lobbyists left and right, but hearing the stories of their constituents — that’s your power.

Our legislators serve at the pleasure of the people who gave them their job — you. When you contact your elected official, you’re putting a face and a name on an issue. Whether or not you voted for them, they work for you, for the duration of their term.

Make sure your elected officials know whose community and whose values they represent. (Find your local, state, and federal elected officials.)

Your action is with us in court.

If a federal agency finalizes a harmful action, the record of public comments provides a basis for bringing them into court.

Throughout each of the public comment periods we alert you to, Earthjustice’s attorneys are researching and writing in-depth, technical comments to submit — detailing how the regulation could and should be stronger to protect the environment, our communities, and our planet.

We need you to join us — your specific experiences, knowledge, and voice are crucial to add to the Administrative Record through the comment periods.

Lawsuits we file that challenge weak or harmful federal regulations rely on what was submitted during the comment period. The court can only look at documents that are in the Administrative Record — including the public comments — to decide if the agency did something improper.

Your actions aid our litigation. Taking action and submitting comments during a comment period is substantively important.

It’s the law.

Federal agencies must pause what they’re doing and ask for — and consider — your comment.

Many of us may have never heard of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), but laws like these require our government to ask the public to weigh in before agencies adopt or change regulations.

Regulations essentially describe how federal agencies will carry out laws — including decisions that could undermine science, or weaken safeguards on public health.

Public comments are collected at various points throughout the federal government’s rulemaking process, including when a regulation is proposed and finalized. (Learn more about the rulemaking process.) These comments become part of the official, legal public record — the “Administrative Record.”

When the public responds with a huge outpouring of support for environmental protections, these individual messages collectively undercut politicians' attempts to claim otherwise.

What this means is each of us can take a role in shaping the rules our government creates — and ensuring those rules are fair and effective.