March 3, 2009
Contact: Leda Huta, Executive Director: 202-320-6467
Jon Hunter, Policy Director: 202-476-0669
President Obama Restores Endangered Species Protections
Department of the Interior begins to undo Bush Administration weakening
Washington DC - Today, President Obama issued a memo restoring a vital system under the Endangered Species Act of ensuring that federal projects do not harm the nation's threatened and endangered wildlife, fish and plants.
Last December, the Bush Administration finalized highly controversial new regulations that limited when federal agencies had to consult with the fish and wildlife agencies on the impacts that a government project may have on endangered species. The changes undermined protections in place for more than twenty years that enabled projects to proceed with as minimal of impact on imperiled species as possible.
The following is a statement by Leda Huta, executive director of the Endangered Species Coalition.
"We celebrate President Obama's restoration of these much needed endangered species protections. For more than twenty years, we have had a system that protects our nation's endangered wildlife, fish and plants, while enabling government agencies to do their work. Despite hundreds of thousands of public comments in opposition, the Bush Administration weakened this system as an attempt to undermine endangered species protections. Today's action by President Obama begins to undo this damage.
"We thank President Obama for reiterating our nation's commitment to protecting species at-risk of disappearing forever. We encourage the administration to work quickly to make these restored protections permanent and we look forward to working with the administration to meet the President's expressed interest in improving the Endangered Species Act."
The Endangered Species Coalition is a national network of hundreds of conservation, scientific, religious, sporting, outdoor recreation, business and community organizations working to protect our nation's disappearing wildlife and last remaining wild places.