House Defeats Measure to Gut Endangered Species Act

(05/05/1997) - Washington, D.C. - The House this evening defeated by a vote of 227-196 legislation proposed by Representatives Richard Pombo (R-CA) and Wally Herger (R- CA) that would have permanently waived the Endangered Species Act for nearly every flood-control-related activity and facility including huge hydropower dams.

Rodger Schlickeisen, President of Defenders of Wildlife, said, "The House has just recorded its most significant environmental vote of the 105th Congress. It represents a big victory for conservation because the bill endangered more than wildlife - reason and common sense were also on the line. The House did not buy the false argument that the interests of endangered species conflict with the protection of human life and property."

In rejecting Pombo's bill, H.R. 478, the House approved a much narrower provision that will allow necessary repairs to go forward in declared disaster areas while still protecting threatened and endangered species. Representatives Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) and Vic Fazio (D-CA) offered the successful substitute.

Although the vote on the House side elated conservationists, the news was not good from the Senate, where a measure that will allow roadbuilding in wilderness areas and refuges narrowly passed.

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Cat Lazaroff, (202) 772-3270

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