Protect the Endangered Species Act
The Administration is proposing changes that would weaken the Endangered Species Act.
The U.S. has been a world leader in protecting endangered species for decades. That conservation legacy is now in danger. If the proposed changes take effect, species that are struggling, such as pangolins, scarlet macaws, African gray parrots, and wolverines may not receive the protections they desperately need to arrest the decline if they become listed.
Please tell Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross: wildlife must be protected and weakening the Endangered Species Act is TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE!
RE: Docket No. FWS–HQ–ES–2018–0007; Docket No. FWS–HQ–ES–2018–0006; and, Docket No. FWS–HQ–ES–2018–0009
Dear Secretary Zinke and Secretary Ross:
I am writing to express my strong opposition to the rules proposed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which would substantially weaken implementation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by your agencies.
Among other things, your agencies’ proposals would undermine the law’s reliance on the best available science as the key factor in listing decisions. The ESA states that only biological factors, determined using the best available science and data collected, may be considered when deciding whether to list a species for protection under the Act. Despite this clear statutory requirement, both FWS and NOAA are seeking to use limited resources to collect and conduct economic analyses of a potential listing, even though the law prohibits such information from being considered in listing decisions.
I also oppose FWS’s proposed elimination of its longstanding rule that prohibits the harassment, harming or killing of threatened species as soon as their listing is finalized. Without this rule, species listed as threatened would not receive these protections unless and until the agency completes a separate proposed rule to provide specific protections for species. This could leave threatened species at risk for further decline towards being endangered.
Since President Nixon signed the ESA into law in 1973, the extinction of more than 99 percent of listed species has been prevented. This is a remarkable legacy of success. I urge FWS and NOAA to withdraw these ill-conceived proposals and to maintain the existing science-based approach to species recovery.