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E-M:/ Endangered Species Act



Title: Endangered Species Act

http://www.house.gov/dingell/12-09-03.html

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
                  Contact: Rick Kessler
                  202/225-4071

                      Reps. Dingell & Dicks, TV Celebrity Corwin,
                    Enviro Leaders, Hail Endangered Species Act
                                         30th Anniversary

                     Act's Author, Noted Conservationist & Key Players Launch
                                    Campaign to Preserve the ESA

                  Washington, DC - Endangered Species Act author Rep. John D. Dingell (D-MI)
                  together with Rep. Norm Dicks (D-WA), Animal Planet star Jeff Corwin, former
                  Nixon/Ford/Carter Council on Environmental Quality Scientific Advisor Lee
                  Talbot and the leaders of national environmental groups gathered to celebrate
                  the 30th Anniversary of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and pledged to fight
                  to preserve the Act's integrity against rollbacks for another 30 years.

                  "Without this law, there might not be a single bald eagle or peregrine falcon in
                  our skies.  No manatees or cut-throat trout in our waters, and no gray wolves or
                  grizzly bears in our forests.  This monumental legislation has, quite literally,
                  saved our natural heritage while allowing the US economy to grow at record
                  rates," Congressman Dingell declared.

                  Congressman Dicks, the senior Democrat on the Interior Appropriations
                  Subcommittee, said, "From this vantage point, thirty years after its passage, the
                  achievements and the limitations of the ESA are clearly visible.  What is also
                  abundantly clear to those of us who were here when the Act was first passed is
                  how far-sighted the original legislation was and how much better off we are
                  today with its protections in place."

                  Jeff Corwin, host of Animal Planet's "The Jeff Corwin Experience" said: "The
                  Endangered Species Act is one of the most important legislative acts in the
                  history of our nation with regard to the conservation of natural resources, habitat
                  and endangered species. Since its passage, the ESA has had a profoundly
                  positive impact on a multitude of endangered species, pulling back many
                  animals from the edge of extinction.  I'm so proud to be a part of the 30th
                  anniversary celebrations."

                  Brock Evans, the Executive Director of the Endangered Species Coalition said:
                  "The Endangered Species Act has been much more than just a magnificent law
                  to protect America's most imperiled natural heritage.  It is a profoundly moral
                  statement, uniquely American in its vision, its optimism, and its promise."

                  Gene Karpinski, the Executive Director of US PIRG stated: "Thanks to the
                  Endangered Species Act, more than 1,800 species find safe haven, and many
                  are on the road to recovery.  Unfortunately, many other species are beginning a
                  downward spiral that can only be reversed with continued protections.  It is time
                  to make a renewed commitment to conserve those species for future
                  generations."

                  Added Dr. Rodger Schlickeisen, President of the Defenders of Wildlife: "The
                  Endangered Species Act was a truly visionary response to the potentially
                  catastrophic problem of species extinction and habitat loss."

                  John Kostyack, National Wildlife Federation's Wildlife Conservation Program
                  Senior Counsel said: "We should celebrate the ESA as one of the most moral
                  laws ever passed, because it calls upon all of us to think about our future
                  generations and what we owe them."

                  Earthjustice Senior Legislative Representative Susan Holmes added, "Not only
                  is the ESA one of the nation's most visionary laws, but also one of its most
                  effective."

                  Signed into law on December 28, 1973 by President Richard Nixon, the
                  Endangered Species Act has served as a model for species and habitat
                  protection throughout the world.  Rep. Dingell sponsored the legislation in the
                  House where it passed by an overwhelming vote of 391-12.  The late Senator
                  Harrison "Pete" Williams (D-NJ) sponsored the Senate version of the ESA,
                  which passed without opposition, 92-0.  In the 30 years since the Endangered
                  Species Act's enactment, more than two dozen species have been saved from
                  the brink of extinction, including such national symbols as the Bald Eagle and the
                  Gray Wolf.

                  The Endangered Species Act has served as a model throughout the world for
                  conservation and species preservation.  The law also forbids the importation of
                  endangered species from abroad.  This has served as the basis for recovery of
                  such animals as the African elephant, the rhinoceros, the Bengal tiger, and the
                  humpback whale. Recently, the Bush Administration announced that it would
                  revisit this prohibition.  This comes on the heels of enactment of H.R. 1588, the
                  Defense Authorization Act, which included language -championed by the Bush
                  Administration-- rolling back protection standards for endangered species on
                  Department of Defense-managed lands.

                  The legislators who were present signed a pledge to uphold the Endangered
                  Species Act so it can continue to protect animals and plants that are threatened
                  with extinction and habitat loss.

                  The event was highlighted by 5th grade students from Washington DC's Hyde
                  Elementary who sang "The Star Spangled Banner" as Challenger, a trained
                  American Bald Eagle, soared above.

   Katie Murtha

Office of Congressman John D. Dingell

2328 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515

202-225-4071