The US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) just cannot get enough of trying to undermine the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Unwilling to wait and see if Congress succeeds in repealing or weakening this popular law, it plans to inflict death by a thousand cuts. This time, in concert with the National Marine Fisheries Service, the USFWS has proposed a set of devastating regulatory changes that go to the heart of key provisions in the law.
One proposed rule would end the practice of extending certain endangered species protections to threatened species. The second would significantly weaken the process for listing and delisting species and designating their critical habitat, even as species hover near extinction and their available habitat continues to shrink. The third change would "streamline"—code for dismantle—the interagency consultation process, effectively silencing the voices of experts best suited to determine the effect of projects on imperiled species.
It is critical that the agencies hear from members of the public. Please sign before the September 24 deadline, telling these agencies not to eviscerate the ESA to satisfy the demands of industry. To ensure that the agencies don't downplay the level of public opposition to their proposals, we will gather signatures and deliver them to the agency.
Photo from Flickr by Divulgação