This month marks the 40th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act -- the strongest law we have for protecting rare animals and the habitat they need to survive.
Rather than celebrate the hundreds of species saved from extinction - like bald eagles, wolves and grizzly bears - and the millions of acres protected by the Act, Tea Party darlings Rand Paul and Mike Lee and other right-wing members of Congress have introduced a bill that would obliterate the law.
The bill would require that every five years all protected animals and plants be removed from the endangered species list, eliminating all legal protections and putting them in the crosshairs of those who want them wiped off the landscape.
No matter how close to extinction it might be, each species would then have to wait until Congress passed a joint resolution renewing its protections under the Act for another five years.
Tell Congress we've come too far to turn our backs on this landmark environmental law and the endangered wildlife it protects.
The Endangered Species Act is our nation's most effective tool for protecting rare plants and animals. Passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in 1973, the Act represents a commitment by the American people to work together to protect and restore our most vulnerable fellow species.
But just as we're celebrating four decades of saving species from extinction, some members of Congress are pushing to undo this crucial conservation law.
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A bill recently filed in both the Senate and House (S. 1731 / H.R. 3533) would gut the key components of the ESA. This bill would harm our nation's most vulnerable species by:
- Automatically removing them from the lists of endangered and threatened species after five years, whether or not they've recovered.
- Requiring that state governors - not scientific experts -- give their consent before species in their states can be protected under the Act, and requiring a joint resolution of Congress to approve the listing of species as threatened or endangered.
- Undermining citizens' ability to enforce the Endangered Species Act in court and to help protect imperiled species by filing citizen listing petitions.
Please OPPOSE this bill, S. 1731/H.R. 3533, and all other efforts to weaken the Endangered Species Act.