Thursday, April 2, 2015

Anti-Wildlife Proposals Flood Capitol Hill

Feature image
Take heed: Congressional attacks on endangered
species conservation efforts.
Think about it: elected officials from the same party determined to gut programs to aid the elderly, the poor, and the disabled among the human population are determined as well to undermine programs to protect our endangered wildlife. Jamie Rappaport Clark, President, Defenders of Wildlife, reports what Republican Senators Lee, Utah; Heller, Nevada; and Daines, Montana are up to:

Dear Virginia,

Anti-wildlife Senators showed their true colors last week as they unleashed a torrent of proposals that if adopted, could cripple endangered species conservation efforts for years to come.

Proposals ranged from delaying the listing of highly imperiled species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to restricting access to the courts to enforce the ESA, to creating loopholes in restrictions on the elephant ivory trade for special interests.

Tell your elected officials to uphold the nation’s commitment to protecting imperiled wildlife!

The proposals came as part of the shameless free-for-all in the Senate known in Washington as “vote-o-rama.” Technically, it’s part of the Congressional budget process, but in practice it’s little more than a special interest stampede to raid the federal budget and advance extreme ideological agendas.

Here’s just a sampling of what was proposed:

Amendment #759 by Senator Mike Lee (Republican, Utah) would ban federal protection for any endangered species whose range falls entirely within one state. Roughly half of all endangered species would fall under this exception and lose federal protection.

Amendment #452 by Senator Dean Heller (Republican, Nevada) would indefinitely delay a listing decision on the dwindling population of greater sage-grouse under the ESA, making it all but impossible to provide federal protection for this imperiled species.

Amendment #606 by Senator Steve Daines (Republican, Montana) would relax restrictions on trade in elephant ivory, creating further enforcement loopholes that would aggravate the poaching crisis that these magnificent creatures face.

While these proposals never made it to an actual vote, their Senate sponsors have tipped their hands and identified their anti-ESA agendas - and many of these proposals are likely to be reintroduced in the Senate in the months ahead.

Tell your elected officials the future of imperiled wildlife conservation depends on stopping these deplorable attacks.

Thanks for all you do.

Jaime Rappaport Clark  

Jamie Rappaport Clark
President, Defenders of Wildlife

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