Senate rejects Murkowski amendment to undermine protection for polar bears and other endangered wildlife

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(03/05/2009) -

WASHINGTON – This afternoon, the Senate voted to leave intact language in the Omnibus Appropriations bill (HR 1105) that authorizes the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Commerce to withdraw flawed Endangered Species Act regulations adopted by the Bush administration.

The following is a statement from Rodger Schlickeisen, president of Defenders of Wildlife:

“Today’s vote by the Senate demonstrates that endangered species conservation remains one of our nation’s most important obligations to ourselves and future generations.

“By rejecting Senator Murkowski’s amendment to undermine protection for polar bears and other threatened and endangered species, the Senate capped off a good week for protecting our endangered wildlife. On Tuesday, President Obama expressed his strong support for the Endangered Species Act and signed a presidential memorandum restoring some of the protections for endangered species that the Bush administration had stripped away shortly before leaving office. 

“Defenders of Wildlife particularly appreciates the leadership shown by Senator Feinstein, Senator Boxer, and Senator Cardin in opposing the Murkowski amendment. By speaking out against the Murkowski amendment, these courageous Senators gave voice to polar bears and other endangered wildlife which would otherwise have no voice. Each of them, and all of the Senators who voted to reject the Murkowski amendment, deserve our thanks.

“We also thank Rep. Norm Dicks and other House and Senate Appropriations Committee members for their leadership in including this important wildlife provision in the bill. ”

Learn more about what Defenders is doing to help endangered species.


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.  For more information, visit




Cat Lazaroff, Defenders of Wildlife, (202)772-3270

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