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Congressional Republicans Push Changes to Endangered Species Law After Grizzly Hunt Ban

by Countable | 9.27.18

What’s the story?

  • After a federal judge overruled Trump administration officials and restored Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections to Yellowstone grizzly bears and gray wolves, Congressional Republicans are pushing sweeping changes to the ESA.
  • On Thursday, the Republican-led House Natural Resources Committee passed a package of bills to modify the ESA to reduce protections for endangered animals and plants and make it easier to remove species from the endangered list. The GOP views these restrictions as cumbersome to developers.

What are both sides saying?

  • “Everything needs to be updated occasionally,” said Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT).
“It's been far too long since this was updated. The Endangered Species Act is not being maligned. It is just not working. It has not focused enough on recovery and delisting of species.”
  • Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona, the committee’s top Democrat, disagreed that the bills were meant to “fix” the ESA:
“They are bad faith proposals designed to destroy the law and give handouts to oil and gas companies. These attacks are old, tired, and not fooling anyone. They are an embarrassment and waste of time.”

What would the new proposals do?

  • Make it easier to remove plants and animals from the list of protected species.
  • End the blanket rule that gave threatened species the same protections as endangered species.
  • Limit consultation between agencies.
  • Create a tighter definition of “foreseeable future,” making it clear that it “extends only so far into the future as the [agencies] can reasonably determine” that the risk of extinction is probable.
  • Add regulatory hurdles to the process of designating a critical habitat.
  • Undo blanket critical-habitat policies, allowing for certain areas within critical habitats to be designated as non-critical.
  • Currently, the ESA requires listing decisions to be made “solely on the basis of the best scientific and commercial data available” and “without reference to possible economic or other impacts of such determination.” The proposed changes remove the last line, allowing economics to factor in on decisions to protect species.

What do you think?

Do you support the overhaul to the Endangered Species Act? Hit Take Action and tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.

—Josh Herman


(Photo Credit: iStock.com / WestwindPhoto)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(114)
  • Peter
    09/27/2018
    ···

    Why do the GOP continue to try their best to destroy the earth and every living thing on it? Simply put- their overwhelming addiction to greed.

    Like (32)
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  • Joshua
    Voted Oppose
    09/27/2018
    ···

    The ESA is meant to protect plants and wildlife from the threats posed by developers. To say that the ESA is restrictive on commercial interests entirely misses the point. It is meant to be restrictive. It is meant to restrain development from irreparably damaging the environment. Economic interests can find other outlets that do not endanger whole species, but extinction is irreversible.

    Like (15)
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  • Tooluser1
    Voted Support
    09/27/2018
    ···

    Because responsible game management is critical. These so called environmentalists would rather allow bears to overpopulate and starve than allow hunters to control their numbers. Because lingering starvation is more humane... or more accurately, starvation takes place out of sight and can be blamed on climate change.

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  • John
    09/27/2018
    ···

    Protections for endangered species need to be made stronger not weaker

    Like (23)
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  • Travis
    Voted Oppose
    09/27/2018
    ···

    We must protect our wildlife forfuture generations

    Like (8)
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  • Linda
    Voted Support
    09/29/2018
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    We need to keep the Endangered Species Act. Our wildlife needs protection and our Public Lands need to be kept pristine.

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  • Kimberly
    09/27/2018
    ···

    I don’t care about developers. These are restrictions, they are supposed to inhibit processes that will harm these species. That is the actual point. As my representative, I expect you to do everything in your power to support the endangered species act and not to strip it down for the sake of corporate greed. If you will not support the ESA as it stands, it will continue to solidify your status as a fraud of representation.

    Like (21)
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  • Lisa
    09/28/2018
    ···

    Look at NC coastline under Republicans need for greed....51,000 Homes completely destroyed, a huge number of others damaged. 48 lives lost and billions of dollars in cost bc the Good Ole Boys squashed the scientific findings that predicted this in the interest of development. Same with every bill they can touch! Money, money, money. But in the end it costs more money and irreversible damage done. Lock Them up! No. No to grizzly ambush and killing !

    Like (7)
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  • Dsnell
    Voted Oppose
    09/28/2018
    ···

    America's obsession with pure capitalism and deregulation has already done enough damage. Creating a system that does not effectively protect our lands, flora and fauna included, from short-sighted greed is unwise.

    Like (5)
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  • Victor
    Voted Oppose
    09/27/2018
    ···

    The laws in place have already saves several species. Kepp them that way.

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  • Jeanne
    09/27/2018
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    Absolutely reprehensible. Very typical of the republicans. They hate anyone and anything when they cannot make a buck. Save the ESA. Replace all republicans in November.

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  • Jeffdavis1969
    Voted Oppose
    09/27/2018
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    The hunters are bound and determined to kill bears.

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  • Jona
    09/27/2018
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    Why so eager to kill our wildlife??

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  • Jim2423
    09/27/2018
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    Most do gooders in these instances do not live in rural areas. If they do they just moved. They have no idea of game population. Doesn’t matter if it is grizzly bears or wild horses. Same goes with even forestation. Leave Fish & Wildlife and Forest Service to do their jobs.

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  • Catherine
    Voted Oppose
    09/27/2018
    ···

    We need to protect the diversity of natural native animals and plants. Every time we lose a species of animal or plant or any other form of life we are dooming ourselves to a step closer to our own Extinction. As a concrete example most Pharmaceuticals are still developed originally from plants. When we lose one species we may lose a cure for cancer when we lose another species we may make it easier for a spread of a dangerous disease like Ebola. We need to preserve the diversity of plant and animal life to preserve our planet and our health and our lives. We need to stop killing Gaia. If you do not recognize the reference it is one of the names for Mother Earth.

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  • AlexandriaGlass
    Voted Oppose
    09/28/2018
    ···

    ESA rules and regulations need to be strengthened, not eliminated. The plants and animals only advocates in courts/the government are people who understand the risks that they are burdened with because of humans and their greed. Plants and animals need to be PROTECTED and VALUED. Not looked at as another thing that can be destroyed by the GOP and their crooked corporate friends. PLEASE VOTE NO!

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  • rockthevote.yo
    09/28/2018
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    This shouldn’t be a partisan issue. Some things are unanimous in understanding. It’s wrong to make someone suffer solely for sufferings sake, it’s wrong to knowingly and intentionally cause mass extinction of a species.

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  • JLe1gh
    Voted Oppose
    09/28/2018
    ···

    The natural habitat and species contained within are as critical to the ecological balance as the sun, air and water and must be protected - Senate Republicans, stop trying to destroy our world.

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  • Elizabeth
    Voted Oppose
    09/28/2018
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    We have infringed enough upon nature - keep the ESA!

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  • Thelma
    09/28/2018
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    Wildlife and our environment must be protected. It was their land before it was ours, we have to share it in good faith.

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  • John
    09/28/2018
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    Leave the Endangered Species Act alone!

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  • Ashley
    09/28/2018
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    Leave the ESA alone. Unless you want to change it to give greater protection to endangered species leave it alone. These animals have been in Yellow Stone longer than we have and they have the right to continue as they are.

    Like (2)
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