Obama Should not Scrap Protections for Endangered Species–SPEAK OUT, AMERICA!

Dear Kevin,
cactus ferruginous pygmy-owl

The Obama government is now accepting comments on a draft policy that would sharply limit the number of species given protection under the Endangered Species Act. The policy in question is a Bush-era throwback that ignores entire populations of imperiled species.

Unlike weaker wildlife laws, the Endangered Species Act does not require a species to be at risk of global extinction to qualify for protection; it must only be at risk in a “significant portion of its range.” This provision ensures species are protected before they’re past the point of no return; it fulfills the Act’s purpose of protecting the ecosystems on which endangered species depend.

Unfortunately the policy the Obama administration is proposing would ignore historic losses of habitat and reestablish the global-endangerment criterion — a standard that has already allowed the government to downplay the urgent plight of the cactus ferruginous pygmy owl.

Please take action now to tell President Obama’s Interior Department not to shut out animals and plants that desperately need the Act’s protection.

CLICK HERE to take action


Sample letter content:

Subject: Comment on Policy on Significant Portion of Range

I am writing to request that you rescind the proposed policy interpreting the phrase “significant portion of its range” (SPOIR), and replace it with a policy that will truly ensure that species are not lost from significant portions of range.

The draft policy specifies that a portion of the range of a species is significant only if “its contribution to the viability of the species is so important that without that portion, the species would be in danger of extinction.” This definition does not provide a meaningful distinction between when a species is endangered in a SPOIR and when a species is endangered throughout all its range, thereby rendering the SPOIR phrase superfluous and nullifying any conservation benefit of protecting species before they are threatened with worldwide extinction.

The draft policy further specifies that when considering whether a species is endangered in a SPOIR, only the current range of a species will be considered. Ignoring historic range when determining whether species are endangered in significant portions of range amounts to a shifting baseline, whereby species that experienced major declines are considered secure only because the analysis is limited solely to current range. Such an approach is clearly not in the interest of species conservation.

I ask that you rescind this anti-science, anti-common-sense draft policy and instead adopt one that considers the significance of both current and historic range and adopts a broad definition of significance that considers many factors when evaluating portions of range, including biological importance, ecological value and size.


Please take action by February 7, 2012.


About eslkevin

I am a peace educator who has taken time to teach and work in countries such as the USA, Germany, Japan, Nicaragua, Mexico, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman over the past 4 decades.
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One Response to Obama Should not Scrap Protections for Endangered Species–SPEAK OUT, AMERICA!

  1. eslkevin says:

    Urge Congress to Support Wind Power!

    Dear Kevin,

    Using more clean, renewable electricity from sources such as the sun and wind will increase our energy independence, save consumers money, and reduce our global warming emissions. One of the primary drivers of the growth in wind energy in the United States is the federal production tax credit (PTC), which gives developers tax incentives for generating energy from renewable sources.

    Despite the PTC being a driving force of wind development, the federal government has allowed it to expire on three separate occasions since 1999. These lapses in the PTC led to a boom-bust cycle that drastically slowed the wind power industry for many months at a time, costing jobs and economic development opportunities.

    The current PTC for wind power is set to expire at the end of 2012. The expiration of the PTC threatens one of the country’s fastest growing clean energy industries and could put tens of thousands of Americans out of work.

    Please ask Congress to extend the PTC today.

    Extending the production tax credit will help maintain the wind industry’s access to financing, allow developers to begin planning installations for 2013, and ensure that the best and most cost-effective projects are built. Wind power is a clean, homegrown energy source that improves public health and poses little threat to the environment while creating jobs and boosting local economies.

    Urge Congress to extend the PTC. The continued growth of the industry can support 54,000 American wind jobs through 2016.

    Take Action Today!

    Thank you for your continued work to promote the transition to a clean energy economy.

    Megan Rising
    Megan Rising
    National Field Organizer
    UCS Climate & Energy Program


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