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280 Groups Oppose Western Governors' Association's Efforts to Weaken Endangered Species Act

WASHINGTON— More than 280 environmental, animal-protection, faith-based, outdoor-recreational and social-justice groups sent a letter today to the National Governors Association urging the organization to oppose any upcoming legislative changes to the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Specifically, the letter asks the national association not to support an ongoing effort led by the Western Governors’ Association to weaken the bedrock wildlife law. In June 2016 the Western Governors’ Association adopted a policy resolution led by Wyoming Republican Gov. Matt Mead that would substantially weaken the ESA if adopted; Mead is now seeking to have the entire national association adopt a similar resolution to undermine the Act at the group’s annual winter meeting, which starts Friday in Washington, D.C.

“Republicans in Congress are looking for political cover to repeal the Endangered Species Act, and any endorsement by the national governors to allegedly improve the Act would play into their profit-driven hands,” said Brett Hartl, government affairs director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Governor Mead is no friend of endangered species, and our most vulnerable animals and plants will be lost to extinction if his cynical attempt to weaken the Endangered Species Act succeeds.”

States have a fundamental responsibility for management of wildlife within their borders. In nearly all cases, it is only after individual states have failed to maintain healthy populations of wildlife that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service protects imperiled species under the Endangered Species Act. Once a species is protected, the Act has demonstrated a 99 percent success rate at preventing species from going extinct. Scientists estimate that without the Act, 227 species would have gone extinct by 2006. Despite this track record, Mead has repeatedly echoed the false claim that the Endangered Species Act is failing.

Read more.

Contact: Brett Hartl

LATEST 10 PRESS RELEASES

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Media Contacts:
Mike Stark, Communications Director
mstark@biologicaldiversity.org, (520) 623-5252, ext. 315

Jessica Herrera, Media Specialist – Population and Sustainability
jherrera@biologicaldiversity.org, (520) 260-1725

Steve Jones, Media Specialist – Oceans
sjones@biologicaldiversity.org, (415) 305-3866

Jim Cronin, Media Specialist – Endangered Species
jcronin@biologicaldiversity.org, (503) 283.5474 ext. 411

Andy Parker, Media Specialist – Environmental Health
aparker@biologicaldiversity.org, (503) 310-5569

Patrick Sullivan, Media Specialist – Climate Change, Fracking
psullivan@biologicaldiversity.org, (415) 632-5316

Russ McSpadden, Communications Associate – Media Photos
rmcspadden@biologicaldiversity.org

Banner photo Center for Biological Diversity; bald eagle by Robin Silver, Center for BIological Diversity