Targets: Rob Bishop, Utah congressman and chairman of House Natural Resources Committee
Goal: Withdraw support for an upcoming bill that would overhaul key portions of the Endangered Species Act.
The Republican-led Congress will be voting on a bill which would allow for major overhauls of the Endangered Species Act. The bill, sponsored by Republican congresswoman Liz Cheney, would limit lawsuits launched to protect certain species such as wolves. These alterations would remove vital protections for these vulnerable species.
A number of Republicans have expressed enthusiasm for the measure, including Rob Bishop, chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, who has stated that he “would love to invalidate” the ESA if he can find enough support from his colleagues. This seems likely with the recent influx of Republican, anti-environmental representatives newly elected to the House.
This is not the first time that the ESA has been the target of major rollbacks. Time and again, Democrats and wildlife advocates have stood up against these attempts and have managed to thwart them. However, with the current political climate, it is likely that the law will face its gravest challenge since it was first enacted in 1973. We will need bipartisan support if we stand a chance in preserving this law, which has done so much to ensure that imperiled wildlife are not pushed to extinction. Please sign below to urge Congressman Bishop to protect this law and the many species of wildlife relying on its protections.
Dear Congressman Bishop,
With the a new administration on its way in and the new session of congress now meeting, we are urging for bipartisan support against a measure that seeks to impose severe limits to litigation involving species currently protected under the Endangered Species Act. As I am sure you aware, the ESA has been instrumental in preventing the extinction of a number of important wildlife species, from wolves to bald eagles. The latter, a beloved symbol of our great nation, has proven to be a shining example of the effectiveness of the measure, having only recently been removed from the endangered species list.
We must count on you as chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee to uphold the intent of this law, which has always been to protect vulnerable wildlife from the threats of overdevelopment and overexploitation. There is good evidence that the ESA and laws like it are necessary to prevent extinction for many species. J.B. Ruhl, law professor at Vanderbilt University, has stated that there are a number of species which are absolutely “conservation reliant” and that extended protection is needed for others, because “recovering from the brink of extinction is a lot harder than we thought.”
The current session of congress must commit to defending and extending the protections afforded by the Endangered Species Act, to ensure the continued safety and well-being of iconic and important wildlife species. You must agree to work with Democrats across the aisle, as well as fellow Republicans, to prevent the extinction of this fundamental law.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Tpsdave