Friday, July 8, 2011

Congressman Dicks defends the ESA

Congressman Norm Dicks
Congressman Norm Dicks, from Washington State's 6th Congressional District, is working in Congress this month to protect the integrity of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). At an important hearing this week, Congressman Dicks led the charge to defend the ESA and oppose the many anti-environmental provisions or legislative "riders" and cuts that made it into the House Interior Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2012.

Please take just a few minutes to call his office and thank Congressman Dicks now: 202-225-5916

After you do, please send me a quick email - - confirming that you made a call. Thank you!

Some important points to make:
    * Thank you for your work to defend the Endangered Species Act from attacks in Congress by opposing the addition of anti-environmental provisions in the Interior Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2012. Please know that you have my support as you continue to work to improve the Interior bill as it moves forward in the House.
    * In the Northwest, the recovery of ESA-listed species - wild salmon and steelhead in particular - is directly tied to the health of our economy. 
    * Salmon and steelhead mean business and jobs.  Please keep this connection between the ESA and job recovery in mind in the 112th Congress and work towards solutions that bring lasting recovery for wild salmon and steelhead - and for coastal communities and the salmon economy.

Here in the Pacific Northwest - salmon country - protecting the Endangered Species Act is about more than saving critters; it's about jobs and livelihoods in our communities and about what we truly value in our region. Thousands of businesses and tens of thousands of jobs are supported by salmon and steelhead.  Laws and policies like the ESA help communities prosper by protecting our land, water, air, and wildlife.

The Interior Appropriations bill currently moving through the House includes language that, if signed into law, will paralyze our nation’s ability to protect hundreds of imperiled wildlife and plant species under the ESA. The bill would prevent the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) from protecting any new or additional endangered species, designate or update critical habitat for any currently-listed species, or upgrade the status of a species from threatened to endangered. Unless a species is already listed, it would receive no protection under the ESA. And for listed species, prohibiting USFWS from designating critical habitat would eliminate the most effective means of endangered species protection under the ESA, inevitably leading to the non-recovery, and possible extinction, of plants and animals across the country.

Those who have followed salmon recovery in the Pacific Northwest for years already know these "non-recovery" and "possible extinction" scenarios all too well.  The last thing we need is another attack on our invaluable natural resources.

That's why it's encouraging to see leaders such as Congressman Dicks taking a stand to protect the Endangered Species Act, our salmon and steelhead, and the communities and jobs that rely on them.

Again, please take a moment to thank Congressman Dicks by calling 202-225-5916.

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