The Latest Attack On The Endangered Species Act Targets Wildlife Found In Only One State

Republican U.S. Senators Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee of Utah introduced legislation this week that would take away federal endangered species protections for animals and plants found in only one state.

Known as intrastate species, such imperiled animals and plants make up the majority of the 1655 species protected under the Act.

The legislation is backed by extreme anti-wildlife organizations that oppose the protection of the Utah prairie dog, an animal only found in Utah.

In addition to ending protections for the prairie dog, the legislation would terminate protections for all 1098 intrastate species, including 497 species in Hawaii, 234 species in California, 86 species in Florida and 20 species in Utah.

“Utah senators hate their prairie dogs so much they’re willing to destroy most of America’s endangered wildlife to wipe out this little animal,” said Brett Hartl, government affairs director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “From the Florida Panther to virtually all imperiled species in Hawaii, every one of these intrastate species would be condemned to extinction”

S. 1863, the deceptively named Native Species Protection Act, seeks to overturn a 10th Circuit Court of Appeals decision from earlier this year that affirmed the federal government’s authority to protect the Utah prairie dog.

In that case, Judge Holmes, a Republican appointee writing for the three-judge panel, concluded that eliminating protections for intrastate species would “leave a gaping hole” and “undercut the conservation purposes, of the Endangered Species Act.

That decision marked the fifth time in appeals court has rejected arguments that extreme private property-rights advocates have been bringing for years.

“Republicans continue to demonstrate that their calls to reform the Endangered Species Act are completely hollow,” continued Hartl. “Instead of proposing ideas that help recover our most vulnerable wildlife, they’re eager to let America’s iconic animals go extinct.”

Representative Rob Bishop (R-Utah), chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources said in December that he would like to repeal the Endangered Species Act in its entirety.

Appalling!

Since January congressional Republicans have launched 47 legislative attacks against the Endangered Species Act or specific endangered species. Since the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives in 2011, more than 268 attacks have been instigated.

These attacks continue despite the fact that 9 out of 10 Americans support the Endangered Species Act and want it either strengthened or left unchanged by Congress, according to a 2015 poll.

Donations to the Center for Biological Diversity can be made HERE!

More on this topic

Popular stories

The Center For Biological Diversity Just Sued The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife In Order To Stop Cruel Killing Methods Of Black Bears

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife was sued in an effort to stop its illegal program of using inhumane methods to kill hundreds...

Petition With Nearly 140,000 Signatures Demanding Fur-Farming & Other Animal Welfare Issues Not Be Ignored, Delivered To Parliament In Finland

On Wednesday, representatives from animal welfare organizations Animalia and SEY, delivered a petition with nearly 140,000 signatures to the parliament in Finland, demanding changes to...

Urgent Action Needed! Zimbabwe Is Secretly Shipping 35 Baby Wild-Caught Elephants To Chinese Zoos Before CITES Near-Total Ban On Elephant Export Takes Effect

Animal welfare groups from around the world have expressed their deep concern that Zimbabwe may be in the process of secretly shipping off 35 wild-caught...