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Environmental Champion Representative John Dingell Retires After Six Decades of Conservation Leadership in Congress

Environmental Champion Representative John Dingell Retires After Six Decades of Conservation Leadership in Congress


February 24, 2014

Contact: Melanie Gade, Defenders of Wildlife: mgade@defenders.org; 202-772-0288

WASHINGTON – Michigan Representative John Dingell announced today that he will retire after nearly six decades in the House of Representatives.

Defenders of Wildlife President and CEO Jamie Rappaport Clark issued the following statement:

“Representative Dingell is one of the greatest wildlife and natural resource champions ever to serve in Congress. His leadership was instrumental in the passage of some of our nation’s groundbreaking environmental laws, including the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. Representative Dingell set the high bar for wildlife conservation in this country and demonstrated to generations of Americans that our nation’s natural resources are too valuable to be left unprotected.

“As part of his unmatched record of support for wildlife conservation and environmental policy, Representative Dingell has been a legendary defender of the Dingell-authored Endangered Species Act. In large part because of his vision and unrelenting determination to beat back legislative attempts to undermine the act’s effectiveness, Representative Dingell has become one of the nation’s foremost congressional champions for protecting this nation’s endangered and threatened species.  

“Another of the Congressman’s most enduring wildlife conservation legacies is found in his broad support for America’s National Wildlife Refuge System, which Representative Dingell helped develop and strengthen by authoring the 1966 National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act and later by supporting the 1997 National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act. As the longest serving member of the bi-partisan Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, Representative Dingell has endorsed the development of numerous National Wildlife Refuges across this country, as well as the nation’s first International Wildlife Refuge, all of which provide critical breeding and wintering habitat for hundreds of species of fish and wildlife.

“Representative Dingell’s vision and leadership has created a legacy of immeasurable benefit to our environment, to our nation’s most imperiled wildlife, and to all of us. We will cherish his defining mark on America’s great conservation legacy for decades to come.”


Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With more than 1 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. Follow us on Twitter @DefendersNews.