Date: September 17, 2008
Contact: Marydele Donnelly
Phone: (352) 373-6441
Action deadline: October 15, 2008
How You Can Help
Dear STC Activist,
We need your help to show the Bush Administration that the critical changes they have proposed to the Endangered Species Act are harmful to America’s endangered species and their habitats and unpopular with the public. We have until October 15th to voice our concerns and ask that the proposed rule be withdrawn.
The Bush Administration has launched a major attack on the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the cornerstone of environmental protection for America’s wildlife, their critical habitats and our natural heritage since its passage by large Congressional bi-partisan majorities in 1973. Less than six months ago the Bush Administration announced that it would not undertake any significant rule-making during its last months in office, but recently the Department of Interior proposed a series of sweeping regulatory rule changes entitled “Amending the Formats of the Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants.” These proposed changes undermine the ESA.
The proposed rule has been dubbed the “Bush Extinction Plan” by the Endangered Species Coalition, a national network of hundreds of conservation, scientific, religious, sporting, business and community organizations to which STC belongs. A recent Coalition press release describes the proposed changes as, “a last minute give away to [Administration] friends in the oil, mining, logging and development industries.”
The rule proposes to do away with protection for our public lands and wildlife without public or Congressional input.
If implemented, these changes will undermine 35 years of established practice and significantly weaken the ESA by:
The ESA requires that federal decisions involving endangered species must be based on the best available science. For more than 30 years the system has worked well in guiding the decisions of biologists and other scientists on how best to minimize the impacts of federal and private actions on endangered species. However, under the proposed rule, federal decision-making would be put in the hands of the agencies , creating a conflict of interest. By removing the current system of checks and balances, this change would exclude thousands of federal activities from scientific review because federal scientists would not be reviewing them.
Habitat protection is a key component of endangered species protection. The proposed rule would limit protection for habitats that are currently occupied by listed species and it would exclude protection for habitats that are in unoccupied parts of a species’ range.
Climate change is already posing a threat to many species and their habitats.This situation will become worse in the years ahead.. Although the ESA is very potentially an important tool for addressing these threats, the proposed rule would remove the government’s responsibility to protect species from the effects of climate change now and in the future.
STC believes the Bush Administration’s proposed rule is bad public policy and should be withdrawn.
As an activist and advocate for our nation’s wildlife, you can make a difference and contribute to this discussion by letting the Bush Administration know you oppose these proposed changes to the Endangered Species Act and any attempt at weakening this landmark legislation. You have until October 15th to express your concern and urge the Administration to withdraw the proposed rule.
TAKE ACTION: Urge the Bush Administration to withdraw its proposed rule to undermine the Endangered Species Act.
* Write to The Honorable Dirk Kempthorne, U.S Department of Interior, 1951Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20240 and make the main points from the letter below.
In an effort to limit citizen response, the Administration is not accepting email comments.
You can provide comments by:
1) sending a letter to Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne that will arrive before October 15, 2008
2) sending your comments via email to STC at email@example.com by October 10th, so we can send a package of letters to Secretary Kempthorne’s office before the October 15 deadline.
* Please forward this alert to your friends and colleagues.
Your help really makes a difference! Thank you!
SAMPLE MESSAGE TEXT
Text as an MS Word file
The Honorable Dirk Kempthorne
U.S. Department of Interior
1951 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20240
Dear Secretary Kempthorne,
For more than 35 years the Endangered Species Act has successfully protected America’s public lands and species at risk of extinction. I oppose changes to the Endangered Species Act proposed under “Amending the Formats of the Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants” because these changes would significantly weaken the ESA and place endangered species and their habitats at greater risk.
ESA requires that decisions involving endangered species must be based on the best available science. For more than 30 years the system has worked well as federal biologists have made decisions on how federal actions affect endangered species. The proposal to put federal decision-making in the hands of the agencies themselves removes the current system of checks and balances and creates a conflict of interest. This proposed change would exclude thousands of federal activities from scientific review.
Habitat protection is critical to endangered species protection. The proposed rule would limit protection to currently occupied habitat rather than historic habitat, creating significant obstacles to species recovery and putting small populations more at risk.
Climate change is already posing a threat to many species and their habitats, and this situation will become worse in the years to come. The proposed rule would remove the government’s responsibilities to protect species from the effects of climate change, which is unacceptable.
This proposed rule amending the ESA should be withdrawn.
Your name and address