AMENDED IN SENATE JULY 1, 2008
CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE-2007-08 REGULAR SESSION
Assembly Joint Resolution No. 41
Introduced by Assembly Member Lieu
January 16, 2008
Assembly Joint Resolution No. 41—Relative to endangered species.
LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST
AJR 41, as amended, Lieu. Endangered species.
This measure would memorialize the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to adopt a final rule to extend the federal Endangered Species Act protections to advance certain penguin species to the next stage in the federal Endangered Species Act listing process, if that agency determines that the decision is scientifically justified, with a formal proposal to list them as threatened or endangered.
WHEREAS, Some of the world’s most remarkable species are threatened by global warming, industrial fisheries, marine pollution, oil spills, and other factors; and
WHEREAS, Polar bears, the largest of the world’s bear species, live only in the Arctic, and are also threatened with extinction as global warming causes catastrophic environmental change in the Arctic that is rapidly melting away the bears’ essential Arctic sea-ice habitat; and
WHEREAS, Rising concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are causing global average temperatures to increase, and the temperature increases in the Arctic and Antarctic are far greater than the global average; and
WHEREAS, In the Arctic, rising temperatures have already resulted in decreasing extent of sea ice, with the minimum extent of sea ice in 2007 1,000,000 square miles below the average
WHEREAS, The United States Geological Survey has concluded that under a “business as usual” greenhouse gas emissions trajectory, two-thirds of the world’s polar bears will be extinct by midcentury, including all of the bears in Alaska; and
WHEREAS, On July 11, 2007, in response to a scientific petition, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service announced it is officially in the process of considering protecting 10 penguin species, including the emperor, northern and southern rockhopper, macaroni, Humboldt, African, white-flippered, erect-crested, Fiordland crested, and yellow-eyed penguin; and
WHEREAS, On May 14, 2008, in response to a scientific petition, the United States Department of the Interior issued a decision to list the polar bear as a threatened species under the
WHEREAS, This protection would provide a vital safety net for these threatened penguin species and for polar bears on the brink of extinction, and also help alert the public to the preventable tragedy of their decline, including the fact that a rapid, dramatic
WHEREAS, The United States Fish and Wildlife Service has missed the deadline to issue a 12-month petition finding for the 10 penguin species; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Assembly and the Senate of the State of California, jointly, That the Legislature commends the United States Department of the Interior for its decision to list the polar bear as a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act, and respectfully memorializes the department to extend to the polar bear and its habitat all of the protections mandated by that act; and be it further
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