A strong majority of Indiana residents support the Endangered Species Act and believe decisions about which imperiled species should or should not be protected under the act should be made by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists, not by members of Congress, according to a new poll conducted by Tulchin Research. These poll results arrive even as this Congress has been flooded with more than 80 bills, amendments, and riders, including numerous provisions in the funding bills for the Department of the Interior and other agencies, designed to weaken the act or remove protections for specific species.
The poll, conducted in September for Defenders of Wildlife and Earthjustice, shows that:
- Eighty-three percent (83%) of registered voters in Indiana support upholding the Endangered Species Act.
- Eighty-four percent (84%) of registered voters in Indiana believe that decisions about which species should or should not be protected under the Endangered Species Act should be made by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists, not by members of Congress.
- Three-fourths (75%) of registered voters in Indiana are more likely to vote for a member of Congress who supports environmental safeguards like the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act.
- Eighty-three percent (83%) of registered voters in Indiana reject the notion that the Endangered Species Act “hurts the economy and destroys jobs,” believing instead that “the law is necessary” and that “we can protect our natural heritage for future generations while growing our economy and creating jobs.”
Jamie Rappaport Clark, President and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife, issued the following statement:
“Indianans strongly support the Endangered Species Act and they are more likely to support elected officials who use their vote in Congress to preserve our conservation laws. Indiana's elected officials should keep this in mind as they consider legislation funding the Department of the Interior and other federal agencies. These appropriations bills and other must pass legislation include numerous proposals that collectively undermine the Endangered Species Act and harm individual listed species already at risk of extinction. Clearly, Indianans expect their senators and representatives to reject these riders and uphold the Endangered Species Act.”
Drew Caputo, Earthjustice VP of Litigation for Lands, Wildlife and Oceans, issued the following statement:
“We commissioned the poll in light of the current wave of congressional attacks on the Endangered Species Act, including efforts by some in Congress to make decisions about specific imperiled species based on politics rather than science. We wanted to gauge Americans’ resolve to protect our nation’s wildlife. What we found is that across gender, age, ethnic, geographic and political lines, American voters whole-heartedly support the Endangered Species Act and don’t believe politicians should meddle with a law that has proven 99% successful in bringing species back from the brink of extinction.”
Form Sept. 8- 13, 2015, Tulchin Research conducted a telephone survey of 200 likely November 2016 voters in Indiana, using live professional callers and dialing both landlines and cell phones. The margin of error for this survey is +/- 6.9 percentage points.
This Congress has already established itself as one of the most environmentally hostile congresses in history. Since January, Members of Congress have introduced over 80 proposals that would cripple endangered species conservation. Some legislative proposals put specific imperiled wildlife species on the chopping block, while others attack core provisions of the Endangered Species Act itself.
“Vote To Protect Wildlife and Wild Lands,” Defenders’ information on Endangered Species Act riders
“Political Animals,” Earthjustice special feature on methods Congress is using to weaken the Act