215 Conservation Groups Urge Congress To Increase Funding Of Endangered Species Act From $252 To $486 Million To Cover The Recovery Of All Species


More than 215 conservation groups urged the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee to increase the budget for endangered species conservation from roughly $252 million to $486 million.

The groups submitted a letter asking for the budgetary boost to the Endangered Species Act as part of the Interior and Environment subcommittee’s public witness day.

Sadly, hundreds of endangered species receive less than $1,000 a year for their recovery, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Many species receive no funding at all from the agency.

“The Endangered Species Act has been starved for decades, and incredible animals and plants have been pushed toward extinction because of that,” said Stephanie Kurose, an endangered species policy specialist at the Center for Biological Diversity in a statement. “Enough is enough. Congress should fully fund the Act so that not one more species is lost forever.”

As the group’s letter notes, to truly put imperiled species on the path to recovery, the Fish and Wildlife Service requires a budget of $486 million across five programs starting in fiscal year 2020. Critically, this includes ensuring that every listed species receives a minimum of $50,000 per year for recovery.

“Congress declared the importance of conserving wildlife when it passed the Endangered Species Act in 1973 but has failed in recent decades to provide funding necessary to fulfill the vision,” said Dr. Jacob Malcom, Director of the Center for Conservation Innovation at Defenders of Wildlife. “We can and must do more to pull species back from the edge of extinction. This request is a blueprint for Congress to get endangered species conservation back on the right track, from listing species, to private lands conservation.”

Other groups joining the important initiative include Earthjustice, NRDC, and Sierra Club.

The Endangered Species Act has successfully protected and worked to recover America’s most imperiled species for more than 45 years, despite being chronically and severely underfunded.

The Endangered Species Act is a highly effective law, saving more than 99% of listed species, and putting hundreds more on the road to recovery. It is also extraordinarily popular. According to peer reviewed research, 9 out of 10 Americans support the Act and want it either strengthened or left unchanged by Congress.

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