Say NO to Zinke’s plan to gut the Endangered Species Act (ESA)
Secretary Zinke has made no secret of his preference for consumption over conservation during his tenure at the Department of Interior, but this barrage of aggression against vanishing plants, fish, and wildlife is a new low.
If the proposed changes are enacted as written, wildlife would suffer and countless species would be pushed closer to extinction. His plan would:
- Give economic impact over consideration in decisions about protecting wildlife. Species listing decisions are currently made based solely on scientific considerations–as it should be. This could give veto power over protecting endangered animals to connected special interests
- Make it much more difficult to protect plants, fish, and wildlife impacted by the effects of climate change. Species such as wolverines or lynx that are losing their fight against a warming world could continue to be denied protections
- Put enormous roadblocks in the way of protecting habitat needed by endangered and threatened species
- Weaken the longstanding requirement that federal agencies work with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to assure that projects do not hurt or kill endangered species
- Drastically weaken protections afforded to species designated as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Florida manatees, gray wolves in Minnesota, marbled murrelets, and hundreds of others could face new threats. States could potentially open hunting and trapping seasons to kill these animals if Zinke’s plan is enacted
These planned cuts to protections are one of the most serious threats to the Endangered Species Act in decades. The ESA works. But, it only works when we let it, and Zinke and his cronies are doing everything that can to make conservation more difficult and less effective.