For Immediate Release, January 29, 2020

Contact:

Stephanie Kurose, (202) 849-8395, skurose@biologicaldiversity.org

House Democrats Advance Legislation to Undo Trump’s Attack on Endangered Species Act

WASHINGTON— The House Natural Resources Committee today voted to approve legislation that would reverse the Trump administration’s regulatory rollbacks of the Endangered Species Act, one of the most successful and popular environmental laws in the country.

The committee advanced the Protecting America’s Wildlife and Fish in Need of Conservation Act largely along party lines. The bill can now be considered by the entire U.S. House of Representatives.

“The world loses more unique animals and plants to the extinction crisis every day we don’t take action,” said Stephanie Kurose, an endangered species policy specialist at the Center for Biological Diversity. “We’re grateful lawmakers have taken this important step to reverse the Trump administration’s cruel attack on the Endangered Species Act. Once a species is gone, it’s gone forever.”

The Trump rollbacks, which went into effect September 2019, weakened protections for critical habitat and made it harder to add species to the lists of threatened and endangered species. The changes reduce protections for any species listed as “threatened” and gut the federal consultation process designed to protect species from harmful federal agency activities.

The new rules were finalized just months after the United Nations Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, known as IPBES, warned governments around the world that 1 million species are now at risk of extinction because of human activity. IPBES scientists said that urgent actions are needed to avert mass extinction in the coming decades.

“The scale and pace of this extinction crisis is like nothing we’ve ever seen before,” said Kurose. “Congress must restore the crucial protections America’s animals and plants desperately need, but it can’t stop there. Bold solutions are needed to truly address this extinction crisis.”

Earlier this month the Center released a new plan, calling on the United States to invest $100 billion to save species and fund the creation of 500 new national parks, wildlife refuges and marine sanctuaries. The plan, Saving Life on Earth, also calls for restoring endangered species policies revoked by Trump, dedicating public lands to wildlife conservation, ending illegal international wildlife trade, significantly reducing pollution and plastics, controlling invasive species, and renewing American leadership to develop a global strategy to stem the extinction crisis.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.