Bush 'eviscerates wildlife protection'

Posted: 8 January 2009

The Bush administration has issued a final rule eliminating the Endangered Species Act requirement that federal agencies consult with independent scientists. John Kostyack, Executive Director of Wildlife and Global Warming for the US National Wildlife Federation says this eviscerates key wildlife protections that have existwed for 35 years.

"In the eleventh hour of his presidency, President Bush has rammed through a sweeping overhaul of the Endangered Species Act" he said. "This action eviscerates key protections that have helped safeguard and recover endangered fish, wildlife and plants for the past 35 years.

"Our government is founded in a system of checks, balances and accountability. President Bush has violated each of these principles by finalizing this rule in his waning days of power.

"The Bush administration has dealt a severe blow to wildlife on its way out the door. After eight years of overt hostility toward the Endangered Species Act, it appears this administration saved the worst attack for last.

Bedrock law

"Wildlife and marine biologists form the pillars of scientific integrity that support the Endangered Species Act. Knocking them out of the decision-making process will erode the foundation of this bedrock law and make it significantly harder to protect endangered species.

"More than 200,000 citizens voiced their opposition to these rollbacks. Not only has the Administration chosen to move forward, they have made matters worse by barring federal agencies from addressing the reality of global warming and its impacts on imperiled wildlife. The Bush administration has demonstrated complete disregard for public opinion with this action.

"The National Wildlife Federation will work through the courts and with Congress and the Obama administration to undo the damage done today. Every second that passes with this rule on the books increases the threat to America's endangered species."

Source: NWF statement on December 11, 2008