Any day now, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on the Interior Appropriations bill that will affect how the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) can use resources.
One proposal included in the bill, also known as the Extinction Rider, will prevent listing additional species under the Endangered Species Act, regardless of how few there are, along with preventing threatened species from being up-listed to endangered. Other provisions include the continued poisoning of wildlife, limiting the EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gasses and preventing the FWS from designating critical habitat for species that are already listed.
“The FWS has already identified more than 250 species that need protections — this proposal would prevent FWS from protecting these species, such as the wolverine, Pacific Walrus and Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout. Further, it would leave any species not yet deemed needing of protection out in the cold,” according to the Endangered Species Coalition.
Bat Conservation International is another group that is worried about imperiled species, stating “This would end current consideration of three imperiled bat species for listing and subsequent federal protection. In the face of White-nose Syndrome, which has killed well over a million bats in the past five years, this rider could be a death sentence for many bat species.”
The ESA, which was enacted in 1973, has provided critical protection and allowed for the recovery efforts for species who might not otherwise be around today, such as the bald eagle, peregrine falcon and Florida panther, while others have been waiting years for inclusion as their populations dwindle.
Representative Norm Dicks (D-WA) introduced an amendment that would have removed the Extinction Rider during the Appropriations Committee Mark Up last week with bipartisan support that ultimately lost by a vote of 23-26. Next, it will be voted on by the House with the amendment still up for consideration sponsored by Dicks and Mike Thompson (D-CA).
Send a letter to your representative asking them to vote YES on the Dicks Amendment to the House Appropriations Bill!
Photo credit: Marvin Moriarty/USFWS via flickr