The United States is a worldwide model of stopping human-caused extinction, largely due to the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The ESA passed Congress with overwhelming and bipartisan support, and President Richard Nixon signed it into law in December 1973.
Yet, despite its success, in the last session of Congress, wildlife opponents introduced more than 130 bills to weaken the Endangered Species Act, including a bill by Wyoming Sen. Barrasso that would delist gray wolves in the Great Lakes and Wyoming. And the attacks are only increasing. Sen. Barrasso started this session of Congress with a hearing to bash the Endangered Species Act.
We have to speak out now to stop these attacks on the Endangered Species Act. That’s why I started my own campaign on CREDOMobilize.com, which allows activists to start their own petitions. My petition, which is to Congress, says the following:
The Endangered Species Act is one of the world’s most popular and successful conservation laws. Respect the will of the 90 percent of American voters who support this landmark environmental legislation and stop trying to kill the Endangered Species Act.
In the four decades it has been law, the Endangered Species Act has enabled the United States to prevent the extinctions of some of the world’s most iconic and cherished species. It brought back the bald eagle, grizzly bear, gray wolf, humpback whale, and American alligator. Its protections enabled the recovery of these and more than 200 other species.
Few laws can claim the success rate or wide popular support that the Endangered Species Act can. Recent national polling found 90 percent support for the ESA among American voters. Another poll conducted after the 2016 election found that 70 percent of American voters oppose any attempts by Congress to slash or deny protections for wolves, greater sage grouse, or other at-risk wildlife. The same poll found that opposition to congressional elimination or denial of Endangered Species Act protections is a bipartisan sentiment. Eighty-one percent of Clinton voters opposed such congressional actions along with 55 percent of Trump voters.
Americans want Congress to stay out of listing decisions. Yet, Congress continues to attack the ESA – often using completely misleading terms. Some in Congress have announced plans to “modernize” or “reform” the ESA. These are just euphemisms for weakening the it. This law has successfully saved species for four decades. Legislative changes to the ESA from this Congress are not needed for the purpose of preventing extinction.
Just last month, we saw evidence that grassroots pressure can stop Republicans in Congress from attacking wildlife and public lands. In the face of a massive backlash from the public and his constituents, Rep. Jason Chaffetz withdrew legislation that would have sold off 3.3 million acres of public land. Now we need to generate the same level of opposition to recent congressional attacks on the Endangered Species Act.
Will you join me and add your name to my petition to Congress to demand it stop reject the latest Republican attack on the Endangered Species Act?