When Congress returns from the August recess, the U.S. House is expected to consider two bills — H.R. 1662 and H.R. 2933 — that could deal crippling blows to the nation's cornerstone wildlife protection law, the Endangered Species Act (ESA). H.R. 1662, the so-called "Sound Science Bill," would require government agencies to give greater weight to some kinds of scientific data over others. The ESA already requires the use of the "best available science" in species listing and critical habitat decisions. H.R. 1662 would not make the use of science more rigorous for ESA decisions; it will only delay decision-making and could undercut the use of the best science. This will only benefit those who have an interest in reduced protections for species and will inevitably, perhaps irreversibly, harm those species needing protection.
The other major threat to the ESA is H.R. 2933, a bill that seeks to reduce the net habitat protection for endangered species. The bill would make it difficult for government agencies to designate critical habitat for imperiled species, even though habitat loss is one of the chief causes of species declines. The bill also removes any enforceable deadline for critical habitat decisions, so species could be lost forever before habitat protections are even considered. Both of these bills would dangerously undermine the ESA.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Please contact your U.S. Representative and urge him/her to oppose both HR 1662 and HR 2933 if they are brought up on the floor of the House of Representatives. Please also contact your two U.S. Senators and urge them to oppose any similar effort to undermine ESA in the Senate. All federal legislators may be reached through the U.S. Capitol switchboard, at 202-224-3121.
To identify your U.S. legislators, visit The Fund for Animals' action site , or call The HSUS at 202 955-3668.
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