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Lame Duck White House Launches Assault on Endangered Species Act

August 12, 2008

To: POLITICAL EDITORS

Contact: Tony Iallonardo of National Audubon Society, +1-202-861- 2242, ext. 3042

Statement of Betsy Loyless, Senior Vice President,National Audubon Society

WASHINGTON, Aug. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The following is a statement of Betsy Loyless, Senior Vice President, National Audubon Society:

Science and sound decision-making have never been the hallmark of the Bush administration. Today’s proposal to gut the Endangered Species Act is the latest in a sad list of serial offenses against the environment. In fact, it’s likely to be one of many attacks on the environment the American public can expect as this administration limps out the door. We will fight this proposal in every way possible and can say with all sincerity that we look forward to January.

MORE INFORMATION

The Bush administration announced plans today to propose a change in the regulations under Endangered Species Act to eliminate the requirement for consultation with federal biologists on projects that could affect imperiled animals and plants. The proposal would allow action agencies to decide for themselves whether projects they permit or license might harm endangered species.

While details are still unknown, Audubon expects the proposal could be the most significant, detrimental change to the ESA program in years. According to news reports, the proposal will be subject to a very short, 30-day comment period, after it is published in the Federal Register. Audubon will be filing a letter with the Department of Interior protesting the short time period for comment and urging a substantial extension of the comment period. Audubon’s activists will also mobilize to resist the change.

The strongest federal safeguard against the extinction of bird species in the United States is the ESA. Enacted in 1973, the ESA has helped save some of America’s most critically imperiled birds and wildlife, including species like the Bald Eagle, the Peregrine Falcon, the Gray Wolf, the Grizzly Bear, and the Whooping Crane.

SOURCE National Audubon Society

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