CALL SCRIPT

Action

(1) Submit your comment by September 24th to the Federal Register. Click here and modify the suggested comment script below to oppose gutting of key provisions of the Endangered Species Act.

(2) Share your comments with your members of congress using the suggested script and contact information below.

Suggested Comment Script for the Federal Register

I strongly oppose any weakening of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) as currently proposed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service. The ESA was adopted in 1973, with overwhelming bipartisan support, and it has been very successful in preserving animal and plant species in the US since then. It is also overwhelmingly supported by the American people (4 out of 5), who want to see our environment protected and a natural heritage left for our children and grandchildren.

Although the ESA and its implementing regulations specifically state that species needs should be based on the best scientific and commercial data independent of any economic or other impacts, the proposed changes would limit the use of science and increase the influence of economic factors. Some of the proposed changes include: 1) removing automatic protections for threatened species, 2) adding economic factors to endangered species determinations, 3) removing regulations requiring federal agencies to consult scientists before issuing resource extraction permits, and 4) redefining “foreseeable future” - a criteria for assessing threatened species - in a way that would make it difficult to assess the real climate change impacts that could harm species. These and other proposed changes would completely undercut the effectiveness of the ESA, and will lead to certain extinction of plant and animal species. These proposals would overwhelm already underfunded federal agencies tasked with making conservation decisions and delay or negate sound scientific determinations and recovery plans. The proposed changes would benefit a small group of commercial interests (oil and gas extraction, mining, ranching) to the detriment of our nation’s national heritage and the survival of the species with which we share this land. The changes would destroy the effectiveness of this highly successful act in meeting its intended goal of preserving species.

Suggested Script for Members of Congress

I have sent the attached comments to the US Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service regarding their proposals to significantly weaken the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Please speak up strongly to oppose this attack on the ESA and please oppose upcoming proposed bills in the House and Senate that would greatly compromise the ESA protections. Thank you!
[Include your comments to the Federal Register in your email to Members of Congress or express them verbally if you are phoning.]

Contact Information for Members of Congress

  • Senator Dianne Feinstein: (415) 393-0707, (310) 914-7300, (202) 224-3841, or email.
  • Senator Kamala Harris: (415) 355-9041, (213) 894-5000, (202) 224-3553, or email.
    Find your Representative:
  • Rep. Mark DeSaulnier - 11th district: (510) 620-1000, (202) 225-2095, or email.
  • Rep. Nancy Pelosi - 12th district: (415) 556-4862, (202) 225-4965, or email.
  • Rep. Barbara Lee - 13th district: (510) 763-0370, (202) 225-2661, or email.
  • Rep. Jackie Speier - 14th district: (650) 342-0300, (202) 225-3531, or email.
  • Rep. Eric Swalwell - 15th district: 510-370-3322, 202-225-5065, or email.

Background

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service are proposing regulations to drastically scale back protections for threatened and endangered animal and plant species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The ESA was passed in 1973 with overwhelming support by both Democrats and Republicans and has consistently had strong bipartisan support by the American people. It has been credited with saving 99% of the species protected under the Act, including the bald eagle, peregrine falcon and gray wolf. The ecosystem as a whole has also been protecting as a result of protecting these species, including millions of acres of old growth forest and open space along the Pacific Coast, the Everglades ecosystem and others. Now the Trump administration is proposing measures that would completely undercut this effectiveness and leave vulnerable species at risk of extinction, while pandering to a small group of congressmen and special interests who have had their sights trained on the ESA for years.

The proposed changes include: 1) removing protections for threatened species, 2) adding economic factors to endangered species determinations (the ESA’s current implementing regulations state that species needs should be based on scientific and commercial data independent of economic or other impacts), 3) removing regulations requiring federal agencies to consult scientists and wildlife agencies before issuing resource extraction permits for mining or logging, for example, and 4) redefining “foreseeable future” - a criteria for assessing threatened species - in a way that would make it difficult to assess climate change impacts. The proposed regulatory changes would include limits on habitat conservation. These changes strike at the core of the Act’s effectiveness, which was designed to protect species based on sound science, rather than expedient resource extraction or other commercial land use.

In addition, Republican senators and representatives have also recently introduced a series of bills to weaken the ESA and codify some of the agency proposals into law. The ambitious legislative package would accomplish numerous longstanding Republican goals for amending the ESA, for example, making it easier for the government to remove species from the endangered or threatened lists and preventing organizations from suing to try to get species protected.

References