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Enviro-Mich message from "Charles Phillips" <cphillips@stopextinction.org>


The Endangered Species Act is a safety net for our nation’s wildlife, fish
and plants on the brink of extinction.  For over 30 years, it has provided
critical protections for endangered species and the places where they live.

Unfortunately, the Endangered Species Act, and the protections it provides
for our nation’s endangered fish, plants, and wildlife, has been under
constant assault from both Congress and the Bush Administration in recent
months and is facing its most serious threats in its 30 year history.    For
all those who support the protection of threatened and endangered species,
the time for action is now.  We owe it to our children and grandchildren to
stand up against these attacks, so that they will enjoy the wildlife legacy
with which we have been blessed.

Despite the fact that the Endangered Species Act has been one of the nation’
s bedrock environmental laws since 1973 and, according to a recent poll, 90
percent of U.S. voters recognize the importance of providing a safety net
for wildlife, plants, and fish that are on the brink of extinction, the
opponents of strong endangered species protections seem to be winning the
messaging war.  We know better, the American public supports a strong
Endangered Species Act.

With this Representative Dingell, an endangered species champion who helped
write the original Endangered Species Act in 1973, has created an Endangered
Species Act Legacy pledge.  Conservation organizations are working to get
thousands of concerned citizens across the country to sign this pledge and
let the media and our elected officials know that we need to be good
stewards of the environment by protecting endangered species and the special
places they call home.

When various threats arise to the Endangered Species Act, in the form of
legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives or the Senate or negative
administrative actions, the conservation community will be able to take the
list of pledge supporters to members of Congress and let them know that
their constituents support strong protections for our nation’s endangered
fish, plants and wildlife.

ACTION:  Sign the Endangered Species Act Legacy pledge.  You can sign the
pledge at: http://www.stopextinction.org/petitions/Petition.cfm?petitionID=8

Please also pass this alert on to your friends, family and colleagues and
ask them to join you in signing the pledge and supporting the Endangered
Species Act!

The Endangered Species Act is a safety net for wildlife, plants and fish
that are on the brink of extinction.  We have a responsibility to prevent
the extinction of fish, plants and wildlife because once they are gone, we
cannot bring them back.  Thank you for taking personal responsibility by
signing the pledge today!


The staff of the Endangered Species Coalition

Here is the text of the pledge:

Endangered Species Act Legacy Pledge

WHEREAS, the United States has a long and proud tradition of respect for the
Earth’s wildlife and natural resources, and

WHEREAS, we have a responsibility to our children and future generations to
be good stewards of our environment and to leave behind a legacy of
protecting endangered species and the special places they call home, and

WHEREAS, the strength and vitality of the human environment is inextricably
linked with the health of all species and the places they live, and

WHEREAS, species’ extinction and habitat destruction are a serious threat to
our own welfare. For example, nature is the source for most of our
commonly-prescribed medicines and the loss of species could mean the loss of
life-saving drugs, and

WHEREAS, we have a responsibility to use the best available science to
ensure we protect this legacy for future generations, and

WHEREAS, for over 30 years, the Endangered Species Act has served as the
nation's safety net for wildlife, saving hundreds of plants and animals from
extinction, putting hundreds more on the path to recovery, and safeguarding
the habitats on which they all depend,

WE, THE UNDERSIGNED, PLEDGE to uphold the Endangered Species Act so it may
continue to protect our plants and animals and the special places they live
from the finality of extinction.

Background on current threats to the Endangered Species Act:

Two bills were passed by the House Resources Committee passed earlier this
year:  H.R. 1662, “Endangered Species Data Quality Act of 2004” (formerly
the “Sound Science for the Endangered Species Act Planning Act”), and H.R.
2933, the “Critical Habitat Reform Act of 2003.”  Resources Committee
Chairman Richard Pombo (R-CA) is hoping to bring these highly damaging bills
to the House floor yet this year.  Congress is expected to return to
Washington after the elections for a “lame duck” session during which we all
will have to be ever vigilant.  Moreover, even if these bills do not make it
to the House floor this year, you can bet that Mr. Pombo and his allies will
make a big push to get them passed in 2005.  The situation in the Senate is
better, but not by much.  We heard that some members of the Senate are
working on an Endangered Species Act bill that could be helpful or harmful
for endangered species; since the language has still not been provided for
review, it is too early to say.  However, even if the Senate Endangered
Species Act bill turns out to be good for wildlife, there is no guarantee
what the House of Representatives will do with it when they get their hands
on it.

Meanwhile, the Bush administration has been busy slicing away at Endangered
Species Act protections outside of Congress.  From new pesticide and forest
regulations that try to exempt the Environmental Protection Agency and the
U.S. Forest Service from the important checks and balance of getting
approval from wildlife experts at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for
projects that may harm listed species (as required by the ESA) to
overwhelming politicization of science in regard to wildlife listing and
critical habitat designations, this administration has shown it is no friend
to endangered fish, plants, and wildlife.

Charles Phillips, Organizer
Endangered Species Coalition
1407 Santa Fe Trail
Boonville, MO 65233

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