Tell Congress to Make it RIGHT!
April 29, 2011
This Take Action is supported by Earthjustice as what we should now be doing moving forward. Contact your Representatives and let them know they mad a big mistake, and they need to fix it now.
To remove a species from the Endangered Species Act protection, as was the wolf by attaching a rider to the Budget bill 2011, is totally unacceptable. This unprecedented move by Congress is the first ever of its kind, and the really sad thing about it is our representatives in Congress outright lied to us, promising to protect the integrity of the ESA, all the while knowing the FIX was in from the beginning.
This move was politically motivated, nothing more. They felt by supporting Tester of Montana’s wolf delisting rider, it would assure Tester of the votes needed to keep his Democrat Senate seat next election. Politically based, nothing to do about science, wildlife, or what the American people wanted and expected.
All of this while there was a settlement proposal on the table, one that would end up being the best thing going forward for wolves as while the wolves would be returned to state management(which was inevitable either way) they would have a much better future as their population would now be based on BEST SCIENCE with a board of independent scientists monitoring their population.
You may hear others still complaining about why did these ten groups choose to sign onto this proposal, and those that remain bitter call it a sell out, and are still complaining. But until you actually sit down and talk to people that work for these organizations, like Marc Cooke and Mark Dinkel and I have recently done, with Mike Leahy, Regional Director of Defenders of Wildlife, and Doug Honnold of Earthjustice, you would see how strongly they feel about wolves and other wildlife.
Mike Leahy certainly cares about wolves. Please don’t forget it was DOW that brought us wolves in the first place, and they have remained steadfast by their side They had a good idea what was coming, and felt that by including best available science in their proposal would give wolves a much better future. I have to agree.
As it turned out it is Congress that we should be furious about. Not this group or that group. There was no “sell out.” All of the fourteen conservation groups decided individually what they felt best for wolves. In the end it wouldn’t matter as wolves were SOLD OUT by Congress, and the President of the United States. Plain and Simple.
If you really want to help wolves, then we all have to remain vigilant and strong, and remain unified. We need every single conservation group out there to make this happen. This is NOT about us, it is about speaking out for wolves and protecting them moving forward. I know you are passionate people that love wolves, as am I . Join with me in being one powerful unified group that speaks in mass, and continue to fight for them every step of the way. Our voices will be heard, when we, in great numbers, speak as ONE!
Here is the first step in a Take Action , with a letter I sent to Senator Whitehouse(Co-Sponsor of the PAW ACT), followed by a plan excellently comprised by Diane Bentevegna, You might want to use this as a guide in contacting your own Congressional representatives, and please feel free to do so.. Their contact information is provided within.
Hold Congress Accountable: This action is supported by Earthjustice. Please read and Act Today!
Hold Congress Accountable Now. Read the letter I just sent to Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, co-sponsor or our nation’s PAW Act, and then read the post below to take action as well. This action is supported by Earthjustice as the best thing going forward that we can all do .
Letter to Senator Whitehouse:
Dear Senator Whitehouse,
I have written to you many times before on this subject and the need to protect the integrity of the Endangered Species Act. Recently members of Congress struck a great blow to the ESA by delisting wolves, the very first time an endangered species was removed from protection in this manner.
I am very well connected to several large conservation groups, including Defenders of Wildlife and Earthjustice, and it is no big secret that this horrific action was attached to the recent Budget Bill for no other reason but to support Senator Tester of MT, in an effort to save his Democratic seat in the Senate.
As something you take great pride in, co-sponsoring the PAW Act, you must now realize that even that is vulnerable to also be destroyed, should politics mandate it. The policy that has been set is one of great disgust to me and other wildlife advocates across this nation.
I am offering you a chance to respond and will gladly post your response as my website is viewed by over one hundred thousand people regularly, and they are all looking for answers, as am I.
Senator Whitehouse, growing up as a democrat I valued certain things that they stood for, and now I just don’t know. Even President Obama let us down, knowing that rider was attached to the budget and the profound consequences of it passing. Yet, he did nothing, other than take his pen and sign it into law.
We hold President Obama, and the United States Congress accountable for this grievous act, and crippling the Endangered Species Act and putting wolves in peril, even when there was a proposed settlement on the table from the ten top conservation groups in America. Yet, that was not good enough, for Congress felt it needed to put Senator Tester in the limelight to help him win reelection.
This I will promise, that a great effort is underway to unseat Senator Tester’s bid for reelection, and this will be our voice to him and others that put politics before science, politics before the American Way.
The Endangered Species Act should not be dealt with so lightly, and so not should our wildlife pay the price for political gain. This is something we will not tolerate.
Sir, I have been a strong supporter of yours for a very long time and have admired your strong stand in protecting wildlife and our open public spaces for generations to come. I ask you sir, what do we do now?
I would look forward to an amendment that will undo what has been so wrongfully done here. I look for your leadership to help right the ship and put this Country’s priorities back in order, and stop the good ol’ boy behind closed doors network. Many conservation groups like mine worked long hard hours to protect the Act, not knowing that the fix was in from the beginning, but we all know now.
Thank you Sir for your time in reading this and I hope to hear a reply in the very near future.
ACTION ALERT ON BEHALF OF WOLVES
As a result of a rider passed in the 2011 budget bill, not only has the Northern Rockies gray wolf lost its federal protection under the Endangered Species Act, but the integrity of this most respected environmental law has been permanently compromised. This marks the first time in history that a species will be delisted by Congress instead of the federally mandated science which is required by this federal law.
This delisting law will do a lot of damage – it will authorize wolf hunting seasons in the West and it will prevent courts from reversing this Congressional action. That means that a significant number of the wolves brought back from the brink of extinction could be killed, thus reducing them to a remnant, token population, unable to fulfill their biological role in our forests. This is woefully unacceptable to those who value wolves as the “keystone predators” which promote the balance of nature in wild lands across the West.
ACTION ALERT – Americans admire people who stand firmly for what they believe. We are less tolerant of those who compromise their principles for political gain. We are asking all wolf advocates across the USA to write a personal message to President Obama, and your federal representatives in the House and Senate to express your outrage and disappointment about their wrongful choice to use their power for political gain rather than represent the vast majority of Americans who support the ESA, the protection of wolves and the practice of leaving wildlife decisions to scientists and not politicians.
Here is a sample letter, but please personalize with your own comments.
Making policy by way of budget bills is a poor way to conduct America’s business. Yet you supported a rider (Sec. 1713) in the 2011 Budget bill which strips wolves of the federal protection afforded them by the Endangered Species – a law that has nothing to do with budgets or spending money. As a citizen, I join the Union of Concerned Scientists in denouncing President Obama’s and Congress’ action which has undermined the integrity of the ESA forever. The ESA was passed because Americans overwhelmingly believe that protecting our wild lands and wildlife is an obligation to future generations. Your recent action in helping to pass this anti-wolf/anti-ESA rider will be forever remembered as a particularly egregious affront to the voice of the majority and to fair representation in our country. Americans admire people who stand firmly for what they believe. We are less tolerant of those who compromise their principles for political gain.
To write to President Obama – http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact
To write to Congress [House and Senate] – http://www.contactingthecongress.org/