CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
| NEWS RELEASE
For immediate release August 29, 2005
Contact: Brian Nowicki (520) 623-5252 ext. 311
CONSERVATION GROUPS HONOR PIMA COUNTY, CALL FOR STRONG ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT
Tucson, Arizona – As President Bush today landed in Phoenix aboard Air Force One, often dubbed “The Eagle,” a real bald eagle, America’s emblem landed in Tucson. There environmental groups gathered with Miss Liberty, a 24 inch live bald eagle, and Congressman Raul Grijalva to honor Pima County Supervisors for supporting the Endangered Species Act.
“We brought this bald eagle, ‘Miss Liberty’ here today to honor Pima County Supervisors for championing the Endangered Species Act.” said Scotty Johnson, Senior Outreach Representative for Defenders of Wildlife. “She is a living example of how successful the Endangered Species Act is at preventing extinction. Of the more than 1800 species under its protection, only nine have gone extinct. Without the Act this bald eagle would not be here today and America’s emblem of freedom and liberty may have forever gone extinct.”
The groups honored Pima County Supervisors for passing a resolution “affirming the principles of the Endangered Species Act.” The unanimous 5-0 passage was a striking bi-partisan response intended to inform the President and public officials in Washington where efforts are underway in Congress to undermine the Act.
“We want to thank the Pima County Supervisors once again for their vision and leadership,” said Carolyn Campbell, director of the Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection. “The Endangered Species Act is a cornerstone environmental law that has contributed to the recovery of many threatened and vulnerable species. With this resolution, the Supervisors demonstrated their on-going commitment to protecting our unique Sonoran Desert.”
“The Endangered Species Act is one of our nation’s most important stewardship tools,’ said Sonja Macys, Executive Director for the Tucson Audubon Society. “Since becoming law 30 years ago, the Act has been wildly successful at stopping extinction. Pima County supervisors demonstrate the kind of stewardship we need in Washington if we are going to protect our wildlife for future generations.”
Congressman Raul Grijalva attended the event discussing impending threats to the Act now underway in Washington. After thanking the supervisors he promised to take the resolution back to Washington.
“There are some in the White House and in Congress who want to seriously weaken the Endangered Species Act,” said Brian Nowicki, biologist for the Center for Biological Diversity. “In fact, there is pending legislation that would open the door to increased extinction. Advanced by narrow special interests, these efforts swim against strong public support. Recent polls show that 86% favored the Act as an important safety net preventing extinction.”
Referring to efforts in Washington, Matt Skroch, Director for the Sky Island Alliance said, “While a small minority of radical special interests don’t appreciate our Nation’s natural heritage and the importance of protecting endangered species, southern Arizona does, and we’re proud of our leaders for being the leading voice for beautiful creatures such as Miss Liberty.”
The groups emphasized that some in Congress will soon be ramping up efforts to undermine the Endangered Species Act. They called on citizens to get involved and urge Arizona’s delegation to keep the Endangered Species Act strong for future generations. Pima County supervisors agreed to send copies to President Bush and to members of Arizona’s congressional delegation.