For over 30 years, the Endangered Species Act, enacted by Richard Nixon, has helped protect our most vulnerable fish, plants, and wildlife. Now, attacks by the White House
to undermine the effectiveness of this legislation are under way:
"Instead of taking the Endangered Species Act head on, the administration is working to destroy the effectiveness of it through executive rule changes," said Brian Nowicki, a conservation biologist at the Tucson-based Center for Biological Diversity, which promotes species conservation. "They can't just attack it outright, so they try to stop it out of the spotlight."
Federal officials have added an average of 9.5 species a year to the endangered list under President Bush, compared with 65 a year under President Bill Clinton and 59 a year under President George H.W. Bush. They have designated as "critical habitat" only half the acreage recommended by federal biologists. And they are transferring key decision-making powers from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to other agencies with different priorities.
This shift comes at a time when congressional critics are reviving plans to seek changes in the act to make it harder to list endangered species and declare habitat off-limits. House Resources Committee Chairman Richard W. Pombo (R-Calif.) plans to bring two Endangered Species Act revision bills up for a vote by the month's end.
Do our children not deserve the chance to live in a world where the wild still runs wild? Is it not our responsibility to show our dissent to the powers that be? Write your Congressmen
. Write your Senators
. We cannot allow the greed of the few, to continue in it's path toward the destruction of all.