Thursday, March 10, 2011

Poll: Americans Support ESA & Wolves

credit USFWS
A recent poll commissioned by the Endangered Species Coalition found that Americans broadly support the Endangered Species Act and oppose politicians making wildlife decisions:
  • Overall, there is strong support for the Endangered Species Act (84%)
  • Most Americans believe the ESA is a safety net providing balanced solutions to save wildlife, plants and fish that are at risk of extinction (64%)
  • The majority of Americans believe decisions about whether to remove the Endangered Species Act’s protections should be based on science, not politics (63%)
In spite of this, the U.S. Senate is currently considering a pair of continuing resolution budget bills in opposition to that public support.

The House version of the CR bill (HR 1) is the most at odds with this public support. Were it to pass both Houses of congress and be signed into law, the consequences would be far-reaching. 

Long standing water management agreements in California--that have saved multiple fish species--would be invalidated. The federal government would be prevented from regulating climate change causing carbon emissions. The ability of citizens like you and I to use the courts to pressure the federal government to enforce existing environmental and other federal laws would be significantly impacted. Perhaps worst of all, Northern Rockies wolves would be removed from elgibility for Endangered Species Act protections. This would not only affect the wolves but the decision by Congress to act to remove protections for a single species, something completely unprecedented, would make it easier for future politically "inconvenient" species to be de-listed legislatively.

The Senate version of the bill is thankfully free of much of the anti-environmental language. Unfortunately, what is potentially the most far-reaching piece of the bill--the unprecedented legislative de-listing of the wolf--remains.

The Senate is voting this week. Please take action for endangered species today by contacting your Senators and asking them to protect wolves and pass a clean CR bill. We need to reach every Senator.  We can't take any Senator's vote for granted.  Please call yours today.

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