Center for Biological Diversity

Side-by-side comparison of current and draft regulations

DOI 114 page synthesis of draft regulations

DOI draft listing regulations

DOI draft transfer to state regulations

DOI task list

For Immediate Release, March 27, 2007

Contacts: Kieran Suckling, Center for Biological Diversity, (520) 275-5960
Daniel Patterson, Public Employees for Environment Responsibility (520) 906-2159

Bush Administration Unleashes Staggering Attack on Endangered Species Act
Draft Regulations Would Eviscerate Species Act From Top to Bottom

WASHINGTON, D.C.– Following the collapse of Richard Pombo’s efforts to undermine the Endangered Species Act in 2006, the Bush administration pledged to eviscerate it through administrative rulemaking instead. Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility and the Center for Biological Diversity today released a copy of the administration’s draft regulations.

“The draft regulations slash the Endangered Species Act from head to toe,” said Kieran Suckling, policy director of the Center for Biological Diversity. “They undermine every aspect of law. Recovery, listing, preventing extinction, critical habitat, federal oversight, habitat conservation plans – all of it is gutted. It is the worst attack on the Endangered Species Act in the past 35 years.”

The draft regulations would:

- Remove recovery as a protection standard
- Allow projects to proceed that have been determined to threaten species with extinction
- Allow destruction of all restored habitat within critical habitat areas
- Prevent critical habitat areas protecting species against disturbance, pesticides, exotic species, and disease
- Severely limit the listing of new endangered species
- Allow states to veto endangered species introductions
- Allow states to take over virtually all aspects of the Endangered Species Act

"Kicking a national responsibility like endangered species protection to the states will harm conservation. State employees can face even more political pressure and have less or no whistleblower protection than federal staff, especially in the West," said Daniel R. Patterson, Ecologist and Southwest Director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility in Tucson. "Federal wildlife biologists would likely be fired and programs gutted, making it nearly impossible to restore national oversight when states fail to protect endangered species. States are important conservation partners, but should not be in charge of the federal Endangered Species Act."

“If these regulations had been in place 30 years ago, the bald eagle, grizzly bear, and gray wolf would never have been listed as endangered species and the peregrine falcon, black-footed ferret, and California condor would never have been reintroduced to new states,” said Suckling. “The Endangered Species Act has put the vast majority of imperiled species on an upward recovery trend. These regulations would reverse the trend, making recovery impossible for hundreds of endangered species."

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