Lame Duck White House Launches Assault On Endangered Species Act

Published: Aug 12, 2008
Washington, DC - 
"Science and sound decision-making have never been the hallmark of the Bush administration. Today's proposal to gut the Endangered Species Act is the latest in a sad list of serial offenses against the environment. In fact, it's likely to be one of many attacks on the environment the American public can expect as this administration limps out the door. We will fight this proposal in every way possible and can say with all sincerity that we look forward to January."

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The Bush administration announced plans today to propose a change in the regulations under Endangered Species Act to eliminate the requirement for consultation with federal biologists on projects that could affect imperiled animals and plants. The proposal would allow action agencies to decide for themselves whether projects they permit or license might harm endangered species.

While details are still unknown, Audubon expects the proposal could be the most significant, detrimental change to the ESA program in years. According to news reports, the proposal will be subject to a very short, 30-day comment period, after it is published in the Federal Register. Audubon will be filing a letter with the Department of Interior protesting the short time period for comment and urging a substantial extension of the comment period. Audubon's activists will also mobilize to resist the change.

The strongest federal safeguard against the extinction of bird species in the United States is the ESA. Enacted in 1973, the ESA has helped save some of America's most critically imperiled birds and wildlife, including species like the Bald Eagle, the Peregrine Falcon, the Gray Wolf, the Grizzly Bear, and the Whooping Crane.

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The National Audubon Society saves birds and their habitats throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education and on-the-ground conservation. Audubon's state programs, nature centers, chapters and partners have an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire and unite diverse communities in conservation action. Since 1905, Audubon's vision has been a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Audubon is a nonprofit conservation organization. Learn more at www.audubon.org and @audubonsociety.

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Nancy Severance
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nseverance@audubon.org
212 979-3124