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House Votes to Cripple Endangered Species Act October 01, 2005 2:10 PM

Just moments ago, the U.S. House of Representatives hastily - and narrowly - approved the first majorchanges to the Endangered Species Act since 1988. This voterepresents the most serious attack on endangered speciesprotections I have seen in the nearly 30 years I have beenworking on these issues. As the debate on this legislation moves to the Senate,Environmental Defense is calling on leaders there to proceedmore cautiously. In the days and weeks ahead, we will beenlisting your support as the fight in the Senate heatsup. Today's vote in the House takesdirect aim at our endangered species protections. It complicatesboth listing new species and implementing recovery plans forspecies already on the list. Unfortunately, the losers are thenation's bald eagles, ocelots, grizzly bears, ivory-billedwoodpeckers and other endangered species. Learn more about thevote. The Senate has an opportunity to act more responsibly, and we urge them to do so. The Senate stepped between the overly-hasty House and rare plants and animals once before. In 1978, the House was roiledthat the Supreme Court stopped construction of a dam inTennessee to protect endangered fish. It passed a bevy ofcrippling amendments to the ESA. The Senate rejected virtuallyeverything the House had done and the Endangered Species Actsurvived. Because the Senate stood strong, whooping crane numbers haveincreased ten-fold, California condors soar in the Grand Canyon,wolves roam in Yellowstone and black-footed ferrets are onceagain found in the Great Plains. The ESA has also helped restoreour national symbol, the American bald eagle, from a few hundredpairs to over 8,000 pairs in the continental United States. If successes such as these are to continue, the Senate must again reject the overreaching of the House. In the weeks and months ahead as the fight to protect endangered species moves to the Senate, we need your help to winthe battle there, so please stand by. Thank you for your commitment to protect America'snatural heritage. Sincerely, Michael Bean Chairman ofthe Wildlife Program Environmental Defense --------------------------------------------------------------------------------  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
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