Congress votes to protect endangered wildlife over special interests
On July 27, 2011, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 224-202 to strip a provision from the Interior funding bill that would have prevented any new species from being added to the endangered species list.
This fantastic win for wildlife—the first conservation victory from this Congress—was achieved thanks to Rep. Norm Dicks (D-WA), who introduced the amendment to strip the Extinction Rider from the bill, and Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) and Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI), the amendment’s co-sponsors.
Tens of thousands of Defenders supporters called and sent messages to their representatives right up to the time of the vote to support the Dicks amendment. Your efforts helped ensure wolverines, walruses, red knots, and other endangered wildlife will continue to have a chance to benefit from the critical protections provided by the ESA.
“Nearly 40 years ago, our nation made a commitment in the form of the Endangered Species Act to preserve the entire web of life for the benefit of our children and grandchildren,” said Rodger Schlickeisen, president of Defenders of Wildlife. “Those who led and supported this amendment today to uphold endangered-species protections have shown that they continue to honor America’s commitment to good stewardship. This is a strong signal to Congress and the Obama administration that the American people continue to support the Endangered Species Act and will not allow it to be destroyed on our watch.” (Read Rodger’s full statement.)
This latest attempt was particularly egregious because it was tacked onto a funding bill, even though it was clearly an attack on long-standing policy rather than a targeted spending issue.
Thanks to the efforts of conservation groups like Defenders, and our committed supporters, we were able to send the message that this sneak attack would not be tolerated. And, this time, Congress listened!.
The Fight for Wildlife Is Not Over Yet
Unfortunately, the Interior Appropriations bill contains many more anti-environmental provisions, including ending protections for highly endangered Mexican gray wolves and preventing federal agencies from addressing climate change issues. Defenders will continue to fight to oppose these measures and will keep you informed of our progress and when we need your help again!
Press Release: Wildlife-protection amendment passes with strong bipartisan support 
Blog Post: “Extinction Rider” Extinct 
Roll Call: See how YOUR rep voted
About The Extinction Rider: Fact sheet, opposition letters, ads, and other resources