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Oppose Changes to Federal Regulations Governing the Endangered Species Act

Oppose Changes to Federal Regulations Governing the Endangered Species Act

Name: Federal Regulations Undermining the Endangered Species Act

On August 12, 2019, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) announced the implementation of new federal regulations that would lessen the protections to animals under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973.

Regulations, which contain the details of how laws will be implemented, are proposed by government agencies in order to implement, modify or reinterpret a law after that law is established. The Department of Interior is responsible for regulating the ESA, and in this case the FWS implements laws as they pertain to land animals and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA) implements the law affecting with marine plants and animals.

The proposed regulatory changes to the ESA would:

  • Allow decisions to be based upon the economic impact of protecting endangered and threatened species, allowing corporate interests to play a part in whether an animal vanishes forever.
  • Remove habitat protections for threatened species and instead allow for decisions whether to protect habitats of threatened species to be made on a case-by-case basis.
  • Remove protections now extended to “threatened” species, thereby hastening the day when they will become endangered. 

Despite substantial negative feedback received by the FWS during a mandatory public comment period, the agency has moved forward with adoption of new regulations. These regulations will substantially change how the ESA is administered and will reduce the basic protections given to its listed species. 

Please contact your U.S. legislators and ask them to act quickly to restore protections of the ESA to protect endangered and threatened species from extinction before these damaging new rules are applied to ESA listed species. 


Call to Actions:

  1. Please contact your U.S. Senators and Representative and ask them to legislate stronger protections for endangered and threatened species.
  2. Spread the word! Share this page with your social network.



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Save the Endangered Species Act from Further Endangerment

Dear [Decision Maker],

I am writing to ask you to draft new protections for endangered and threatened species, because of new U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) rulemaking that will undermine the successful administration of the Endangered Species Act. The new regulations, adopted on August 12, 2019, lessen the protections offered by the ESA for both endangered and threatened species and their critical habitats.

Decades of work and millions of dollars have been spent on ensuring that imperiled wildlife do not become extinct in the U.S. There have been many successes as a result of these efforts, most prominently the recovery of the American bald eagle. These efforts worked because the ESA offered protection and support to habitat protection, and to recovery efforts to bring animals back from the brink of extinction.

The proposed rules clearly put the interests of business development ahead of the interests of wildlife. This is contrary to the wishes of the American people, who comprise the majority of stakeholders in the issue of wildlife preservation. Moreover, these regulations subvert the basic protections guaranteed by the ESA, making changes to the law through regulatory measures. These changes have been rejected by the U.S. Congress in the past. This re-writing of the law through regulatory measures therefore subverts not only the basic protections guaranteed by the ESA, but also the will of Congress and the American people.

I urge you to please act quickly to draft legislation that reverses the FWS's new regulations. Their overreach is attempting to fundamentally change a very successful law, and in the process endangers the very existence of plant and animal species nearing extinction.

Thank you for your consideration.

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]