“Strengthen the Endangered Species Act-help us all survive and thrive”

The Endangered Species Act

Our nation’s safety net for wildlife,

plants and fish is on the brink of extinction.

Cougar needs to run free

Cougar needs to run free

The U.S. House of Representatives is expected today to debate an omnibus bill that sets the federal government’s budget for the rest of the fiscal year. The bill has some good news for endangered species.

First, it includes budget increases for many endangered species programs, which have been ailing for years. For the main Fish and Wildlife Service programs, which include listing and critical habitat designation; consultations; candidate protections; and recovery efforts, there is an increase of almost $7.5 million – or approximately five percent. Within the National Marine Fisheries Services, marine mammal protections gained $1.5 million (or almost four percent). We had been advocating for significantly larger increases to help combat staffing shortages and the growing waiting list of candidates in need of protection, but the increases will be helpful and are appreciated. Regrettably, there were decreases for funding for sea turtles (well below even what President Bush’s budget had recommended) and the polar-bear-coaxing-babyBureau of Land Management’s threatened and endangered species program – despite the growing pressure that will be coming with more energy development of all types. More broadly, there is also help for developing a national strategy to protect wildlife and natural resources from the effects of global warming.

The bill also provides hope for endangered species in another big way. Text in the bill would grant Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and the yet to be confirmed Secretary of Commerce 60 days to review and possibly repeal the Bush Administration’s last minute regulations that undermined endangered species protections. Secretary Salazar could also repeal or amend the special rule put into place that impacts polar bear

The Endangered Species Act uses the most rigorous science available to determine what species need protection and to develop common sense solutions to prevent the extinction of endangered fish, plants and wildlife. Determining whether or not a species is listed as threatened or endangered is based solely on the “best available science” – when the law is followed correctly. Other decisions under the Act utilize both science and economic factors. One of the most effective ways to protect species is to protect the places where they live.

peregrinThe Endangered Species Act protects the critical habitat that is needed to prevent the extinction of endangered fish, plants and wildlife. Why Protect Species Protecting and restoring America’s wildlife, fish and plants offers numerous economic, medical, recreational and other benefits.

The Obama administration is expected to announce Tuesday that it will reconsider a Bush administration rule that environmentalists say weakens protection for endangered species and their habitats, the latest in a series of moves that reverse Mr. Bush’s policies.

The Bush administration rule was welcomed by businesses and land developers who complained that consultations between federal agencies on endangered species issues tended to drag on and cost money.

Good news for our wildlands, plants, animals and people:rosy_periwinkle

The rosy periwinkle – once near extinction – is now used to combat Hodgkin’s disease and some types of leukemia. In fact, over half of the 150 most prescribed medicines were originally derived from a plant or other natural product, yet we have only researched a small percentage of the world’s plants for possible medical benefits.

Recreation in healthy wildland ecosystems, including hunting, fishing and wildlife watching produces over $100 billion in annual revenues; and without healthy forests, grasslands, rivers, oceans and other ecosystems, we will not have clean air, water, or land. 35 Years of Success According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, over 99 percent of species listed have been saved from extinction. With more than 1,350 U.S. animals, fish and plants listed as either threatened or endangered, only a small handful have ever gone extinct. Over two-thirds of species with known statuses are stable or recovering.ketchikan-alaska-fishing

Restoration’s Benefits When the gray wolf was restored to Yellowstone National Park, they started to control the park’s large population of elk, which had been overeating the willows, aspen and other trees that grew along streams. The recovery of these trees is cooling stream flows, which benefits native trout and increasing nesting habitat for migratory birds. Beavers now have willow branches to eat and beaver dams create marshland habitat for otters, mink, moose and ducks. Wolves even benefit the threatened grizzly bears that find it easier to take over a wolf kill than to bring down their own elk. Revenues to local communities have also been boosted by over $10 million annually.

Everyone benefits when Mother Nature is protected and sustained-help all of us today!

Ask your Senators

Save Endangered Species

The Bush Administration may be gone, but they left behind damaging regulation changes that threaten the polar bear and all species feeling the impacts of our warming world. You can help reverse these changes by taking action right now.

Send a letter to your Senators asking them to fight off attempts to remove provisions from the budget bill that will help save endangered species

Send letter to President Obama thanking him for the past successes and asking him to support the Endangered Species legislation in Congress this week.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of Endangered Species Coalition humpback-dolphin1

Please support them today!

Petition to President Obama click here

Excerpts courtesy of stopextinctionblog.blogspot.com

Excerpts courtesy of  Googlenews.com

Images

Cougar courtesy of http://z.about.com/d/animals/1/0/4/6/shutterstock_304343.jpg

Polar bear courtesy of .nationalgeographic.com/animals/images/polar-bear-coaxing-baby

Peregrin falcon courtesy of http://eelink.net/EndSpp.old.bak/ESimages/peregrin.GIF

Periwinkle flower courtesy of http://www.nybg.org/images/flowering/Rosy_Periwinkle.jpg

Rushing Alaskan river in the wilds courtesy of alaskafishing411.com/ketchikanalaskafishing

Dolphins courtesy of http://www.dolphins.org.za/images/momjuv.jp

For more turtle information click.

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