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U.S. government seeks to weaken Endangered Species Act

U.S. government seeks to weaken Endangered Species Act

U.S. government seeks to weaken Endangered Species Act
March 28, 2007

The Bush Administration is seeking to rewrite the Endangered Species Act to significantly reduce its effectiveness in protecting threatened species say environmentalists who released secret U.S. government documents on the issue.

Kieran Suckling, policy director for the Center for Biological Diversity in Tucson, estimates that the changes would remove 80 percent of the roughly 1,300 species from threatened and endangered lists.

“The draft regulations slash the Endangered Species Act from head to toe,” said Kieran Suckling. “They undermine every aspect of law. Recovery, listing, preventing extinction, critical habitat, federal oversight, habitat conservation plans — all of it is gutted. It is the worst attack on the Endangered Species Act in the past 35 years.”

Polar bear. Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

“If these regulations had been in place 30 years ago, the bald eagle, grizzly bear, and gray wolf would never have been listed as endangered species and the peregrine falcon, black-footed ferret, and California condor would never have been reintroduced to new states,” Suckling added. “The Endangered Species Act has put the vast majority of imperiled species on an upward recovery trend. These regulations would reverse the trend, making recovery impossible for hundreds of endangered species.”

The Bush Administration’s strategy is laid out on an article appearing on, an online magazine, while a copy of the draft changes is available at the Center for Biological Diversity.

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