Before leaving office, the Bush administration rammed through numerous regulatory changes to the Endangered Species Act that will severely threaten our efforts to save polar bears, wolves, manatees, and more than 1,300 other animal species from extinction.
And, if left in place, these abysmal changes will:
· Prevent the Endangered Species Act from protecting our vanishing wildlife from habitat loss and global warming; and
· Let federal agencies in charge of building our highways, dams, and other projects decide whether those projects might drive rare plants and animals toward extinction, without ever checking with biologists in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service.
Defenders of Wildlife -- and many other wildlife advocacy groups -- fought hard in Congress for legislation that gives Secretaries Salazar and Locke the authority to overturn these rules. And now, it’s up to Secretaries Salazar and Locke to use this hard-fought authority before it expires on May 9th.
More than 200,000 comments opposing these abysmal changes were submitted to the Interior Department in the 60 days that the Bush/Cheney administration allowed for the public to respond to its changes. And newspapers across the country have editorialized overwhelmingly against the Bush/Cheney administration’s gutting of Endangered Species Act protections.
Nonetheless, these regulations are now in place, and each day that they remain in effect, our polar bears, wolves, and other vulnerable species are being placed at greater risk.
The good news is that one stroke of the pen by Secretary Salazar and Secretary Locke can restore Endangered Species Act protections for our many endangered animals. The bad news is that neither secretary has yet taken action.
Please use your voice; contact these government officials and demand that they take action to protect the lives of our imperiled wildlife.
Many of us have already sent such a message urging Secretaries Salazar and Locke to do so; to take this much needed action on behalf of our ever dwindling and endangered wildlife; and we sincerely hope that you will, too.