Over 150,000 Voices Urge Biden Administration to Completely Reinstate the ESA
The rallying cry for the protection of endangered species has never been louder. Over 150,000 concerned citizens, from every corner of the nation, have implored the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to rejuvenate the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in its entirety. Their passionate plea comes in the wake of new regulatory proposals issued this past June, addressing prior controversial regulations established under the Trump administration in 2019.
The Biden administration’s recent proposals offer promising steps forward, aiming to undo some of the detrimental impacts of the 2019 regulations on the ESA’s implementation. However, there are gaps. The latest recommendations, though well-intentioned, don’t go far enough. Critical aspects such as Section 7 of the ESA – pivotal in ensuring federal agencies don’t contribute to the extinction of endangered species or destruction of protected habitats – remain inadequately addressed. Likewise, the changes introduced by the previous administration in Section 4, which could result in the premature delisting of endangered plants and animals, are yet to be fully revoked. That’s not even to mention the various ongoing congressional battles that seek to threaten ESA protections.
However, it’s not just individuals who have expressed concerns. Today, we at the Wolf Conservation Center proudly join forces with 123 other environmental organizations in submitting joint comments. These comments feature a comprehensive letter delineating necessary adjustments to the proposed regulations. Our collective voice emphasizes the imperative nature of restoring the ESA in full.
As we approach the golden 50th anniversary of the ESA in December, it’s worth reflecting on the monumental success of this act. Over the past five decades, the ESA has been instrumental in preserving countless species, including wolves, from the brink of extinction and in safeguarding invaluable ecosystems. Yet, its full potency is compromised unless restored to its original intent. In the context of the escalating biodiversity crisis, the weakened ESA could gravely curtail our endeavors to mitigate species decline.
Addie Haughey, the director of Lands, Wildlife, and Oceans for Earthjustice’s Policy and Legislation team, aptly put it: “Restoring the Endangered Species Act is a straightforward job with major implications.” She further urged the Biden administration to rectify the persisting setbacks to the ESA, framing it as an immediate solution to the growing biodiversity crisis.
At the Wolf Conservation Center, our Executive Director, Maggie Howell, voiced her concerns: “Navigating what experts confirm as our planet’s sixth major extinction phase, restoring the Endangered Species Act is more than just a choice – it’s an essential line of defense against this accelerating descent.”
In sum, the call to action is clear. The ESA stands as a cornerstone in our fight against extinction. Now, with the compounded threats of biodiversity and climate crises looming large, President Biden’s commitment to restoring the ESA in its entirety is more critical than ever.
We, at the Wolf Conservation Center, remain steadfast in our commitment to protecting endangered species and their habitats. We invite you to join us in this crucial mission, ensuring a world rich in biodiversity for generations to come. Join our newsletter for the latest updates on this and other conservation news, including opportunities for you to get involved in our future action alerts.