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Please Protect the Endangered Species Act
I write to urge you to oppose all legislation that undermines the Endangered Species Act, including proposals to block federal protections for gray wolves and other imperiled species. The Yellowstone grizzly bear faces enormous threats from excessive killing and an unraveling ecosystem and still needs federal protection.
The Endangered Species Act is one of our nation's most effective laws. Passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, the Act has prevented the extinction of 99 percent of the species placed under its protection. This incredibly successful law is also supported by 90 percent of American voters. Yet despite the effectiveness and popularity of the Endangered Species Act, some in Congress are working to undermine it with legislation that would block protections for individual species.
I urge you to uphold our nation's commitment to protecting our natural heritage by opposing all efforts to weaken the Endangered Species Act.
SAMPLE TEXT YOU CAN USE:
Today the Endangered Species Act (ESA) is threatened more than ever. Bouyed by the recent election of Donald Trump as President, congressional enemies of the ESA have promised to repeal or gut this landmark law.
On the chopping block are wolves, as congressmen are poised, again, to try to strip protections of wolves and allow state-sponsored sport hunts.
But potential congressional delisting of grizzly bears could be next. Like wolves, grizzly bears need large wild landscapes to survive. The threatened Yellowstone grizzly bear has not yet recovered, and needs continued protection to survive in the face of an unraveling ecosystem caused by climate change, disease and invasive species. The Trump administration is expected to administratively delist grizzlies in 2017.
Your congressman needs to know that you won’t stand for these legislative attacks on wolves, grizzlies and other species.
One of the world’s strongest and most effective wildlife protection laws, the Endangered Species Act was enacted with overwhelming bipartisan support 43 years ago. This law has prevented the extinction of 99 percent of listed species, from the bald eagle to the gray whale and grizzly bear.
Were it not for the Act, scientists estimate, at least 227 species, including the remaining grizzly bear populations in the lower 48 states, would have likely gone extinct since the law’s passage.
Yet some members of Congress are working to undermine this incredibly effective law.
During the last Congress, these members added a record number of anti-wildlife measures to House and Senate appropriations bills that fund the Interior Department, as well as to House defense authorization and energy bills. A full-fledged assault on the ESA by Congress has already begun, including attempts at blocking ESA protections for species such wolves. Probable measures include legislative delisting of:
Mexican gray wolves (despite the fact that there are fewer than 100 of these highly imperiled animals left in the United States)
Gray wolves in Wyoming, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin (despite federal court decisions that found proposals to delist these wolves illegal under Endangered Species Act)
Gray wolves across the entire lower 48 states (despite the fact that wolves currently occupy just a small portion of their former range in the U.S.)