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Senate Subcommittee Appropriations Bill full of Anti-Wildlife Poison Pill Riders


Contact: Haley McKey, 202-772-0247

Email: hmckey@defenders.org

WASHINGTON (June 14, 2016) – Today, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies issued a draft FY 2017 Interior Appropriations bill full of poison pill riders that undermine bedrock environmental laws, remove vital protections for America’s endangered wildlife and attack key conservation policies on our public lands. The draft Interior Appropriations bill also contains cuts to the Interior Department’s budget, including funding for the Endangered Species Act, America’s most important law for protecting wildlife.

The Senate bill contains anti-wildlife riders that:

·         Block Endangered Species Act protections for: gray wolves in Wyoming and the Great Lakes region, the greater sage-grouse and the lesser prairie-chicken;

·         Mandate construction of a destructive road through internationally recognized wildlife habitat and congressionally designated wilderness in Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, creating a precedent that jeopardizes protections for public lands across the country;

·         Bar conservation measures for bears, wolves and other carnivores on national wildlife refuges in Alaska, effectively allowing aggressive, non-subsistence hunting practices such as trapping, baiting, aerial gunning, killing at den sites and killing mothers and young;

·         Undermine critical environmental safeguards for our nation’s forests and perpetuate old-growth logging in the Tongass National Forest, America’s largest rainforest.


Statement from Defenders of Wildlife President and CEO Jamie Rappaport Clark:

“Once again, this year’s Senate Interior Appropriations bill does more harm than good for America’s endangered wildlife. It puts at-risk species, including wolves and the lesser prairie-chicken, in the  crosshairs and fails to adequately fund programs to conserve endangered species. The legislation also attacks our National Wildlife Refuge System, forcing a road through internationally treasured Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, and opening up over 76 million acres of refuge lands in Alaska to extreme hunting practices for wolves, grizzly bears and other iconic wildlife. We need more members of Congress to echo Senator Tom Udall, who is vocally opposing these “poison pill” riders and vowing to work to strike them from the bill. The Interior Appropriations bill should be providing the resources to implement good stewardship practices, not be a weapon to destroy our nation’s lands and wildlife. We urge the Senate to pass a clean budget free of these insidious policy riders.”


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. Get the latest Defenders news on Twitter @defendersnews