Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, June 6, 2018

Contact: Brett Hartl, (202) 817-8121,

House Republicans Strip Protections From Wolves in Funding Bill

Bill Marks 11th Attack on Gray Wolves by This Congress, Slashes Listing Budget

WASHINGTON— House Republicans in the Appropriations Committee today passed legislation to fund the Department of the Interior for 2019 that includes riders to strip Endangered Species Act protection from gray wolves nationwide, delay protections for sage grouse and grizzly bears, and prohibit any federal agency from protecting public health and wildlife from toxic lead ammunition.

The legislation also slashes the budget for listing threatened and endangered species under the Act to less than $11 million, a decrease of nearly $8 million from 2018 levels.

This bill means that the current Congress has introduced 11 separate attacks seeking to prematurely remove protection from gray wolves. This builds on the 32 attacks since 2011 that specifically target these important predators. Similarly, this legislation marks the 11th attempt to delay protections for imperiled sage grouse.

“Republicans’ constant meddling in both the science and law are putting our nation’s most imperiled wildlife in the crosshairs,” said Brett Hartl, government affairs director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “These insidious attacks have no place in funding legislation and undermine the Endangered Species Act, which has saved 99 percent of species in its care from extinction.”

The legislation also seeks to prevent every federal agency from taking any action to protect human health, wildlife or the environment from toxic lead ammunition and fishing tackle. Spent lead ammunition causes lead poisoning in 130 species of birds and animals. Nearly 500 scientific papers document the dangers to wildlife from this lead exposure.

“Poisoning wildlife to appease the gun lobby is reprehensible, but it’s par for the course for this Congress, which is the most anti-environmental in history,” said Hartl. “These attacks are completely out of touch with the American people, who overwhelmingly support endangered wildlife. Instead of slashing the budget, Congress should heed the public’s wishes and fully fund the Act.”

Since January 2017 congressional Republicans have introduced 85 attacks on the Endangered Species Act or particular endangered species. Since the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives in 2011, more than 380 attacks have been launched. These attacks continue despite the fact that nine out of 10 Americans support the Endangered Species Act and want it either strengthened or left unchanged by Congress, according to a 2015 poll.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.6 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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