04:46 PM

House Passes Anti-Endangered Species Amendment


May 15, 2015

Contact: Courtney Sexton, csexton@defenders.org, 202.772.0253

House Passes Anti-Endangered Species Amendment

Protections for two species on the brink removed by irrelevant amendment in defense bill

WASHINGTON— Today the House of Representatives voted to include in the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) an amendment proposed by Rep. Lucas (R-OK) which jeopardizes the recovery and continued existence of the lesser prairie chicken and American burying beetle by removing their protections under the Endangered Species Act and preventing future listing and conservation action.

The following is a statement from Jamie Rappaport Clark, President, Defenders of Wildlife:

“The NDAA has once again been hijacked for use as a vehicle for those blatantly seeking to weaken the Endangered Species Act – the underlying bill already contains a sweeping provision that denies protections for the imperiled greater sage-grouse. Inclusion of this amendment is another shameful, opportunistic abuse of one of our nation’s most important pieces of legislation that Congress passes each year, and is an outright attack on the bedrock environmental laws that protect our air, lands, water and wildlife.

“This amendment was not requested by the Department of Defense, is unrelated to military readiness and does not belong on the NDAA, or anywhere else for that matter. It is the epitome of irresponsibility to yank a species off the endangered list simply because certain special interests are opposed to science-based conservation. Summarily removing a species from the list does not mean that species is magically recovered – quite the opposite. Removing a species’ protections before it has had a shot at recovery only increases conservation costs and the likelihood of extinction.

“It is heartening to see that at least some members of Congress, including Representatives Niki Tsongas (D-MA) and Jackie Speier (D-CA), recognize the pettiness and the trickery of these attacks on our natural heritage, and came forth to speak out against such triviality.”


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.