Extinction is Not an Option: No to Executive Order 13771

More than 1600 endangered and threatened species rely on the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for their survival. But for how long, we don’t know, because Donald Trump and congressional Republicans are proposing to “reform” this important and successful law. In this case, as in so many other Trump initiatives, “reform” really means weaken and destroy. During the Act’s 45 year history 99 % of species identified as endangered and threatened have remained alive. The Endangered Species Act works! Demand that the Trump administration and Congress keep in place the historically strong protections for plants, birds, fish, reptiles, animals, whales and other species.

Whether it is a new subdivision encroaching on the endangered Green Pitcher Plant, or an oil derrick among threatened Staghorn Coral or a mine next to the pure waters of the Bull Trout, endangered species have powerful enemies in the Trump Administration. Under the Trump Administration’s direction, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries office have prepared revised regulations to “streamline” the ESA regulatory process.  In reality, this will make it easier to dismantle ecosystem protections, lower the scientific standard for species protection and regulatory decisions, and undermine the effectiveness of the ESA.  

Congress passed the Endangered Species Act in 1973 in a near unanimous vote in order to stop the decline and extinction of plants and animals as a moral responsibility. Thanks to the ESA, numerous animals have, in fact, escaped extinction.  The act has maintained overwhelming support among the public with 83% of Americans (including a large majority of conservatives) supporting it. But the new “revisions” are solely designed to please some of the Trump administration’s and Republican’s primary supporters - mining and fossil fuels industries - seeking to limit constraints on drilling and development [RW1] .  

The proposed revisions will make it easier for roads, pipelines and other construction projects to gain approvals not possible under current ESA rules. They will also eliminate longstanding provisions that prohibit the consideration of economic factors in the decision about species protection. The new rules will instead pit the economic value and the cost of saving a species against the claims of potential profit by businesses, including mining and agriculture.

Species that are listed as “threatened” are currently defined as “any species which is likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future.” Under the proposed rules,  “foreseeable future” definitions can ignore the long term and foreseeable effects of climate change. 

Rigorous enforcement of the Endangered Species Act is essential to protect the country's irreplaceable wildlife from extinction. We oppose all efforts to rewrite or “modernize” this landmark wildlife conservation law.  Because animals can’t speak for themselves, wemust demand that Trump and Congress uphold the Endangered Species Act. 

Call To Action

Make a Specific Comment About Your Personal Relationship with the Endangered Species Act and your reasons why you are against Executive Order 13777

Your comments supporting the Endangered Species Act must be received by September 24, 2018.  To comment on any of these rules, click on the links below. Then click the Comment Now button:

Call your Senators and or Representatives: Tell them – especially the Republicans – that you treasure the Endangered Species Act and any amendments and legislation that weaken it will cost them your support in upcoming elections.