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Environmental Groups Applaud Efforts to Secure 
Strong Endangered Species Act

Alternative Bill to Pombo Bill Offered by Pro-Conservation Members

Washington, DC -- In an attempt to thwart efforts by Congressman Pombo to weaken the Endangered Species Act, Congressmen Miller (D-CA), Boehlert (R-NY), Dingell (D-MI), Gilchrest (R-MD), Dicks (D-WA), Saxton (R-NJ), Tauscher (D-CA), and Kirk (R-IL) have introduced a bi-partisan amendment that would eliminate Rep. Pombo's damaging provisions and preserve the intent of the act to recover threatened and endangered plants and animals. The amendment is supported by a wide array of conservation organizations, including the Izaak Walton League of America, Trout Unlimited, the American Bird Conservancy, The Nature Conservancy, The Ocean Conservancy, and the The Wilderness Society, in addition to Defenders of Wildlife, Environmental Defense, and the World Wildlife Fund.

"This bi-partisan amendment is a responsible alternative to Congressman Pombo's irresponsible bill," said Rodger Schlickeisen, president of Defenders of Wildlife. "We applaud these members' efforts to secure a stronger and more effective Endangered Species Act."

The legislation not only addresses the current problems in Congressman Pombo's bill, but also improves the current law.

The amendment:

Protects habitat for species recovery by maintaining enforceable habitat protections and puts the primary obligation for recovery on federal agencies.

Ensures that all newly listed species have recovery plans within 3 years and species already on the list have recovery plans within 10 years. "

Provides real landowner incentives for conservation through cost sharing and technical assistance.

Enhances the role of the states in helping conserve endangered species through improved cooperative agreements and greater federal-state consultation.

Keeps pesticide protections in place.

More clearly defines the act's scientific standards but without politicizing the role of science or burdening federal wildlife agencies with unnecessary bureaucracy.

"Rather than dismantle a program that has protected America's wildlife for more than 30 years," said Michael Bean, Chair of Wildlife Programs for Environmental Defense, "Congressmen Miller and Boehlert have presented Congress with a creative, workable solution that promises better results for recovering endangered species and reducing burdens for landowners."

Carter S. Roberts, president and chief executive officer of World Wildlife Fund said, "we believe that a modernized and adequately funded Endangered Species Act will improve species recovery efforts and bring the nation's landowners on board as full partners in wildlife conservation. We think this bi-partisan substitute bill does just that." 






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