Wednesday, April 29, 2009

We did it! Today, the Obama administration announced the restoration of rules under the Endangered Species Act that were weakened in the final days of the Bush administration.

Thanks to your actions and millions of other citizens who support strong endangered species protections, the government has restored protections for our nation's disappearing wildlife and last remaining wild places.

This morning, the Endangered Species Coalition held a press conference at the Capitol with a members of Congress, scientists and conservation organizations urging the Obama Administration to overturn the Bush Administration rules that weakened protections for endangered species.

This afternoon, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced that they were reinstating the consultation provision under the Endangered Species Act. Their decision requires federal agencies to once again consult with federal wildlife experts at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration before taking any action that may affect threatened or endangered species.

For more information, check out our statement thanking President Obama for restoring endangered species protections.

The restoration of these protections is amazing news for our country's wildlife, fish and plants on the brink of extinction. This wouldn't have happened without your support and involvement.

With your support, the Endangered Species Coalition and our members:

helped to pass a bill through Congress giving the Obama Administration the authority to overturn the Bush ESA regulations.
worked with over 50 Members of Congress to send a letter asking Secretary Salazar to use that authority to restore the consultation provision.
sent a letter on behalf of 133 conservation organizations asking President Obama to restore endangered species protections.
helped the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Society of Conservation Biology and the Center for Biological Diversity to recruit over 1300 scientists on a letter supporting scientific consultation.
gathered over 150,000 signatures on letters and petitions (along with the Center for Biological Diversity, Greenpeace, EarthJustice, the Endangered Species Coalition, Conservation NW, Biodiversity Conservation Alliance, WildEarth Guardians, National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Defenders of Wildlife)
met with the Department of Interior to advocate for strengthening protections for endangered species
held a press conference at the Capitol the day of the announcement.
Congress granted the Obama administration a special 60-day period to repeal two last-minute Bush administration rule changes, including the one in today's announcement. The other rule under consideration restricts protections for the polar bear. Secretary Salazar has until May 10th to use the congressional authority to expedite the repeal of the polar bear rule.

We'll be working with the Obama Administration to continue to restore protections for our nation's wildlife and wild places. This is a great first step, but much more needs to be done to strengthen endangered species programs and reinstate scientific integrity in environmental protections.

Please join us in our work to save wildlife, birds, fish and plants on the brink of extinction.

This is an amazing victory for wildlife! Thank you for helping to make it possible.

Thank you,

Leda Huta

Executive Director

Endangered Species Coalition

The Endangered Species Coalition is a national network of hundreds of conservation, scientific, sporting, religious, humane, business and community groups across the country working to protect our nation’s wildlife and wild places.

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