For Immediate Release, March 8, 2022
Stephanie Kurose, (202) 849-8395, firstname.lastname@example.org
Petition Urges Biden Administration to Strengthen Endangered Species Act to Save Life on Earth
WASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity filed a comprehensive legal petition today urging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service to take bold, unprecedented action to stem the global wildlife extinction crisis by strengthening the Endangered Species Act’s implementing regulations.
Noting that “extinction is not inevitable — it is a political choice,” today’s petition calls on the two federal agencies to not only undo the Trump-era rollbacks to the Act, but to push for ambitious new regulatory safeguards that strengthen all aspects of the law.
The petition calls on the services to holistically address the threat of climate change, reduce illegal political interference that undermines scientific integrity, strengthen law enforcement and add new measures to ensure accountability for extractive industries that harm the habitats of endangered species.
“The Endangered Species Act has saved hundreds of irreplaceable plants and animals from extinction, but it could be doing so much more good,” said Stephanie Kurose, a senior policy specialist at the Center. “Despite the law’s remarkable success, the services have been reluctant to fully implement it, succumbing to years of political and industry pressure to weaken what is the only hope for imperiled species. The time for reform is now.”
In addition to undoing the Trump-era rollbacks — which the Biden administration has started to do, but at a sluggish pace — the petition calls for more ambitious improvements to achieve the Act’s mandate that extinction be halted “whatever the cost.” Some of those improvements include:
“Combating the extinction crisis and restoring our natural heritage are monumental challenges that will require the services to be more visionary than any other administration in history,” said Kurose. “We challenge Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and the Biden administration to change the status quo and do whatever it takes to protect our planet for future generations.”
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.