The California Senate will soon vote on A.B. 235, a cynical bill that would roll back critical protections for plants and animals under the state's Endangered Species Act. Backed by developers, it's aimed at heading off protections for Joshua trees if they're designated a "candidate" species at an upcoming Fish and Game Commission hearing.
But the bill is sweeping enough that it would harm not just Joshua trees but all species for which state protection is sought in the future. It could even undercut safeguards given to recently protected candidates such as mountain lions.
Tell your state senator to vote no on this shameless bill targeting our most vulnerable plants and animals.
Under state law, candidate species receive interim protections while a year-long review is carried out prior to listing them as "threatened" or "endangered." A.B. 235 would allow developers claiming economic hardship to kill Joshua trees and other imperiled species during the review period, effectively rendering candidate status meaningless.
The California Endangered Species Act is one of the strongest and most effective biodiversity laws in the country. In the face of an extinction crisis, we should be strengthening these laws, not weakening them.
Act now to insist that your state senator vote no on this dangerous bill.