A former Republican Congressman from California who co-authored the Endangered Species Act (1973) joined farmers and fishermen today to support strong protections for endangered species and habitat and to denounce H.R. 3824, a bill sponsored by Representative Richard Pombo (R-CA). They called on Members of Congress to oppose this attack on endangered species and delivered signatures of thousands of Californians who support the Act to the local office of Representative Richard Pombo (R-CA), the prime sponsor of the new bill.
“The Endangered Species Act protects the web of life that is America’s natural heritage. Without it, we may not be blessed with the American bald eagle, the California condor or the Pacific salmon,” declared Pete McCloskey, former Republican Member of Congress and co-author of the Endangered Species Act. “We have a duty to prevent the extinction of species and the Act has done that well. Recovery of species will take time and that effort deserves full funding. Congress should reject any proposals, including the bill currently before the House of Representatives, that would weaken the protections for our nation’s endangered species or the lands they need to recover.”
Last week, the House Resources Committee approved H.R. 3824, sponsored by Representative Richard Pombo (R-CA), which would weaken protections for endangered species and habitat. The House of Representatives is scheduled to consider the bill this week.
“This bill is a giveaway to developers. We should be working to keep farmers farming, not making it easier for these developers to pave over our Central Valley farmland,” said Cindy Lashbrook, owner of River Dance Farms.
“It is important to protect endangered species in California and the Central Valley in order to protect agricultural lands, open space, clean water, provide recreational opportunities while supporting fishing jobs and local economies,” stated Bill Jennings, Chairman of the California Sportfishing Alliance. “The Pombo bill would give developers and other special interests control over recovery of endangered species.”
“California fishermen are wondering why congressmen are pushing to wipe out protections that restored cool, clean water to the Sacramento River and the multi-million dollar salmon fishery there. These sensitive ecosystems are valuable national assets which contribute to the U.S. economy by providing thousands of jobs as well as its healthiest food source,” said Zeke Grader, Executive Director, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations.
“The Endangered Species Act is vital to maintaining the river and ocean habitats upon which California fisheries depend,” added Brian Stranko, Executive Director of California Trout. “As Californians, we care about protecting wildlife and wild places in our state and across America for our children and our grandchildren to enjoy. Maintaining a strong Endangered Species Act is crucial to upholding the conservation values that we share in California.”
“This attack on the Endangered Species Act will hurt farmers and fishermen across California,” said Earthjustice Senior Legislative Representative Susan Holmes. “Congress has a responsibility to protect these species and represent the true feelings of many Californians, which is to save the Endangered Species Act.”
The Endangered Species Act is a safety net for wildlife, fish and plants that are on the brink of extinction. Representative Pombo’s bill would cut large holes in this safety net and significantly weaken protections for our nation’s fish, plants, wildlife, and the places they call home.
Read an analysis of the bill