For Immediate Release, March 16, 2016
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Eight Members of Congress Honored for Defending Wildlife, Endangered Species Act
WASHINGTON— Eight members of Congress were recognized today by leading national conservation groups for their critical role in protecting the Endangered Species Act. The event featured former Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt and honored Senators Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and House members Don Beyer (D-Va.), Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Betty McCollum (D-Minn.), and Niki Tsongas (D-Mass.).
The honorees were recognized by the Animal Welfare Institute, Audubon, Born Free USA, the Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, Earthjustice, Endangered Species Coalition, Environmental Defense Fund, League of Conservation Voters, Native Plant Conservation Campaign, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, Union of Concerned Scientists, WildEarth Guardians and Wildlands Network.
The groups jointly issued the following statement:
“We celebrate and honor these conservation leaders whose vision and leadership has created a legacy of immeasurable benefit to our environment, to our nation’s most imperiled wildlife, and to our communities. Their tireless support for wildlife is vital as powerful special interests continue efforts to weaken or eliminate the Endangered Species Act and other bedrock conservation laws grounded in science.”
The Endangered Species Act is more at risk today than ever before, as legislative attacks designed to undermine the Act have increased by 600 percent in the past five years. Collectively the legislative attacks on the Endangered Species Act introduced by this Congress amount to nearly 100, and represent the most sweeping attacks since the landmark conservation law was passed 43 years ago.
The repeated attacks come despite strong public support for the Act. A July 2015 poll found that 90 percent of U.S. voters support the Endangered Species Act, affirming similar findings from previous polls over the past decade.