Thursday, September 29, 2005

Do You Like the Endangered Species Act? Yes? Well, You Better Call Congress to Stop a Bill Set To Destroy It. Very Easy to Do.

This is a reminder for everyone to call. Very easy.

See Capitol switchboard below for how to find the right representative to call.

Also please forward to all your friends and associates
nationwide.

Pombo has been trying for years to destroy the Endangered
Species Act, and he is saying he thinks his bill will pass the House by
a "very large margin." If Pombo's extinction bill passes, there will
be no provision for protecting habitat, and animals (and fish, birds,
plants, watersheds etc) can't live without habitat.

ALERT: STOP REP. POMBO'S EXTINCTION BILL!

Representative Pombo's Extinction bill is on a fast track through
Congress. The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on it
sometime next week. We need your help to stop this bill!

The Endangered Species Act is a safety net for wildlife, fish and
plants on the brink of extinction. Representative Pombo's bill will
cut large holes in this safety net and significantly weaken
protections for our nation's fish, plants, wildlife, and the places
they call home. The bill would gut the Endangered Species Act on
behalf of greedy developers, oil companies, timber companies, mining
companies and extreme property rights groups.


ACTION: Please call your Member of Congress and ask them to oppose
Representative Pombo's bill (H.R. 3824) that would weaken the
protections of the Endangered Species Act.

Capitol Switchboard: (202) 224-3121
Ask for your Member of Congress's office.

You can look up your Representative at: www.house.gov
(http://www.house.gov/)
You can look up your Senators at: www.senate.gov
(http://www.senate.gov/)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Talking points

* I am calling to ask you to support for the Endangered Species Act
and urge you to oppose Representative Pombo's "Threatened and
Endangered Species Recovery Act" (H.R. 3824) because it would weaken
protections for endangered species and habitat.

* Representative Richard Pombo's bill aggressively strips the
Endangered Species Act of its strongest protections. Representative
Pombo and his bill are controversial and out of step with the American
public's support of the Endangered Species Act.

* For over thirty years, the Endangered Species Act has been a safety
net for wildlife, fish and plants on the brink of extinction. It has
been successful in preventing the extinction of the American Bald
Eagle, the gray wolf, the pacific salmon, (or other local species) as
well as many other species.

* The Endangered Species Act stands for fundamental principles that
we all believe in and cannot allow to be weakened or removed. In
fact, 86% of Americans support the Endangered Species Act.

* Greedy developers and the politicians they give money to are
attempting to weaken America's safety net for endangered species. We
have a responsibility to prevent the extinction of fish, plants and
wildlife because once they are gone we cannot bring them back.

* Please support the Endangered Species Act and oppose any bill that
would weaken protections for endangered species and habitat.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BACKGROUND:

Representative Pombo's Extinction bill would gut the Endangered
Species Act on behalf of greedy developers, oil companies, timber
companies, mining companies and extreme property rights groups.
Among other terrible provisions, the bill would:

Eliminate Critical Habitat Protections

The Pombo bill would repeal one of the most important parts of the
Endangered Species Act's safety net-the protection of critical
habitat. Rep. Pombo claims that habitat will be protected by
"recovery plans" but his bill states that these plans are
non-regulatory thus making them harder to enforce. Scientists tell us
one of the most effective ways to protect and recover species is to
protect the places where they live.

Abandon the Commitment to Recovery of Endangered Species

The Pombo bill weakens recovery plans by stacking the "recovery teams"
that draft them with industry representatives. It requires that the
teams include representatives from each "constituency" with a direct
interest in the species and its "economic and social impacts". It
also removes the Act's requirement that recovery plans be prepared for
the "conservation and survival of endangered species and threatened
species."

Repeal Protections Against Hazardous Pesticides

The Pombo bill would repeal all Endangered Species Act provisions that
protect threatened and endangered species from the harmful impact of
pesticides. Pesticides played a major role in contributing to the
decline of our nation's symbol, the American bald eagle, in the
mid-20th century and are currently implicated in the decline of an
array of species including Pacific salmon and sea turtles.

Politicize Scientific Decision-Making

The Pombo bill would allow political appointees to manipulate science
to fit their political agenda by allowing the Secretary of Interior to
develop a definition the "best available science." The proposed
requirements also give greater weight to empirical data -- ignoring
the importance and integrity of scientific modeling. The Endangered
Species Act already requires the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to use
the most rigorous science available when developing common sense
solutions to prevent the extinction of endangered fish, plants and
wildlife. The Pombo bill creates a new set of hurdles that scientists
must surmount if they are to list and protect endangered wildlife and
their habitat.

Eliminate the Vital Check and Balance of Consultation
The Pombo bill would allow the Bush Administration to exempt any
agency action or "categories of actions" from the requirement to
consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National
Marine Fisheries Service before they take any actions that could
undermine the survival or recovery of protected species. This
provision would remove scientific experts from key decisions on
whether projects like timber sales or pesticide regulations would harm
endangered species and make it highly unlikely that federal agencies
will be required to do anything to protect listed wildlife.

Require Taxpayers to Pay Developers, Oil & Gas Companies, and other
Industries for Complying with the Law

The Pombo bill requires the federal government to use taxpayer dollars
to pay developers for complying the Endangered Species Act's
prohibition on killing or injuring imperiled wildlife and sets no
limits on these payments. The federal government would have to pay
for profits developers hoped to gain by developing that portion of the
land, including any profits lost due to mitigations asked of the
landowner to protect endangered species, such as retaining riparian
corridors or setting aside mitigation habitat. By requiring agencies
to compensate landowners for the costs of complying with federal
endangered species protections, this provision would quickly drain
funding used to help restore wildlife and the places they live. This
also sets a dangerous precedent of paying companies for following
other environmental and public health laws.

Require Fish and Wildlife Service to Allow Unfettered Habitat
Destruction

The Pombo bill places endangered species at risk whenever the federal
government fails to meet a 180-day deadline for telling developers
whether their actions would kill or harm an endangered species. If the government misses the deadline, no matter what the reason, developers
are permanently exempted from the law.

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