Today, members of the Congressional Western Caucus released the text of nine new bills to drastically undermine the Endangered Species Act, our nation’s most effective law for protecting wildlife in danger of extinction.
The legislation announced today seeks to interfere with science-based listing decisions under the Endangered Species Act; to limit citizens’ ability to help identify species in need of protection under the Act; to undermine citizens’ ability to go to court to help ensure that the Act is properly implemented and enforced; and to undermine the use of science under the Act. The legislation also seeks to shift key authority under the Act away from the federal government despite the fact that the Endangered Species Act is a law of last resort; species are only listed after state management has proven insufficient to prevent extinction.
The following statement is from Marjorie Mulhall, Earthjustice’s Legislative Director for Lands, Wildlife, and Oceans:
“The Endangered Species Act is our nation’s most effective law for protecting wildlife in danger of extinction. It has prevented 99 percent of species under its care from going extinct, including our national symbol, the bald eagle. Yet some members of Congress are seeking to undo this incredibly successful, effective law and jeopardize endangered species, all for the benefit of certain industries. The legislation announced today seeks to do just that. For the sake of our environment and our future generations, we can’t let that happen.
“Rather than working to undercut a law that works, the U.S. Congress should seek to improve the law’s implementation by fully funding recovery efforts for endangered species.”