Defenders of Wildlife Commends President Obama for his Conservation Efforts
Washington (January 19, 2017) – The following statement is from Jamie Rappaport Clark, President and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife:
“On behalf of our 1.2 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife expresses our deep appreciation and gratitude for all that President Obama and his administration have done to prevent species extinction, safeguard and restore our wildlife and public lands, address the undeniable challenge of climate change and uphold our conservation legacy for future generations.
“President Obama placed more federal public land and water under protection than any other president in history, preserving exceptional and irreplaceable wildlands, marine resources and cultural and historic sites for generations to come. He made climate change a central issue of his administration’s agenda, focusing on the critical need to reduce the nation’s greenhouse gas reductions and the equally urgent need to plan for and address the impacts of climate change on our wildlife, lands and resources. To lead the transformation of the nation’s energy systems to achieve its climate goals, the Obama administration provided visionary leadership for the development of renewable energy on federal lands, setting new “smart-from-the-start” policies that promote siting wind and solar projects in areas where they have the least impact on wildlife and mitigating for unavoidable impacts. His agencies took strong steps to advance wildlife conservation and protect imperiled species, adopting new rules, for example, that provide for biological diversity and connectivity in national forest management and planning.
“President Obama created the two largest marine protected areas on the planet, protecting more than 7,000 marine species, including endangered whales and sea turtles. He added 22 new units to our National Parks system and expanded the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge by 12 million acres, despite opposition from the oil and gas industry and its supporters in Congress. And he focused the full efforts of the federal government on the urgent need to fight international wildlife trafficking, establishing an interagency task force to coordinate the government’s efforts and imposing a nearly-complete ban on domestic trade in ivory.
“President Obama will be remembered as one of our nation’s greatest conservation presidents. Defenders of Wildlife has been proud to work with President Obama and his administration, and we thank him for his public service and leadership in preserving our natural heritage.”
Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With more than 1.2 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit www.defenders.org and follow us on Twitter @DefendersNews.