WASHINGTON – The Trump Administration announced a new change that would continue the dismantling of the Endangered Species Act, the nation’s most effective law for protecting imperiled wildlife from extinction. The move comes after the Trump Administration finalized a first round of changes in 2019 that weakened the Endangered Species Act at a time of unprecedented global mass extinction. The new proposed rule, submitted by the U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Department of Commerce to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), adds a definition of “habitat” under the Endangered Species Act, making it harder to protect the spaces critical for recovery of species.
The following is a statement from Rebecca Riley, Legal Director for the Nature Program at NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council).
“This weakening of the ESA will have dire consequences for wildlife already struggling to survive. The proposal would make it harder to protect habitat necessary for species recovery. If we fail to protect habitat that species need, before long, we won’t have those species anymore. It comes less than a year after the Trump Administration finalized a series of rules designed to rollback the law’s protections. We will continue fighting to protect wildlife for future generations.”
The Endangered Species Act is a conservation law that has effectively protected endangered species for over 40 years. Since its implementation, 99 percent of listed species including the bald eagle and the gray wolf have been spared from extinction. A 2015 poll showed 90 percent of voters support the Endangered Species Act, with broad bipartisan support. Over 800,000 people sent comments to the federal agencies opposing these changes.
More Information on the Endangered Species Act:
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City; Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Chicago; Bozeman, Montana; and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC