Letter to send to Senators. February 21, 2011 11:45 PM
Dear Senator ---
As an wildlife conservation advocate, I am deeply disturbed by Section 1713 (p. 266) of the House's Continuing Resolution - 2011 which was passed on Feb. 19, 2011. This section states, "Before the end of the 60-day period beginning on the date of enactment of this division, the Secretary of the Interior shall reissue the final rule published on April 2, 2009 (74 Fed. Reg. 15123 et seq.) without regard to any other provision of statute or regulation that applies to issuance of such rule. Such reissuance (including this section) shall not be subject to judicial review."
Please be advised that I vehemently oppose this section of the House's version of the Appropriations bill. Buried deep within the text of the bill, it covertly voids US District Judge Donald Molloy's ruling that re-listed wolves on the Endangered Species List as of August, 2010. In addition, Sec. 1713 seemingly precludes any judicial review of decisions which may result in de-listing the gray wolf from the Endangered Species List in the future.
It's not the role of Congress to decide which species should or should not receive protection from the ESA. The ESA is one of our most respected environmental laws. Its power lies in the independent, scientific consultation at its heart. In fact, Congress has never successfully legislated a species-specific decision under the ESA. Wolves should not be the first. That is a decision that should be made by independent science. The ESA, and issues related to wolf restoration, requires clear thinking, strategic planning and science- based decision-making. To legislate such a decision would weaken the Act and set a dangerous precedent that could lead to more native fish, wildlife, and plants being wrongly stripped of protection.