Last month marked the 40th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), one of the world's strongest and most effective wildlife protection laws.
Unfortunately, just at this time when we celebrate four decades of success with the ESA, bills that could rightly be called the "Extinction Act" have been introduced by anti-conservation lawmakers in the U.S. House and Senate.
These bills would gut the ESA and put imperiled species at greater risk.
Juniata Valley Audubon asks that our senators and representatives please oppose all efforts to weaken the Endangered Species Act including bills S. 1731/H.R. 3533, which would harm imperiled species by:
n Automatically removing them from the lists of endangered and threatened species after five years, whether or not they've recovered.
n Letting politics win over science by requiring that state governors give their consent before species in their states can be listed under the ESA, and requiring a joint resolution of Congress to approve the listing of species as threatened or endangered.
n Undermining citizens' ability to enforce the ESA in court and to help protect imperiled species by filing citizen listing petitions.
Passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, the ESA represents a commitment by the American people to work together to protect and restore our most vulnerable species.
Let us keep this commitment.
Stan Kotala, M.D.
Juniata Valley Audubon