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Defending the ESA – Again!

Green turtle, Chelonia mydas
Image via Wikipedia

CCH is working hard to defend the federal Endangered Species Act. The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a bill seriously weaken- ing the ESA, and it is now up to the Senate to save the ESA from being gutted. The proposed amendments to the ESA establish bad public policy and will not increase the likelihood of recovering endangered species. The amendments may even cause species on the brink to go extinct.

We sent out action alerts to hundreds of conservationists and concerned citi- zens, and we prepared an op-ed piece for 2 • Kölea

the Honolulu daily newspapers. We also contacted our elected officials, and joined environmental and Native Hawaiian organizations in a meeting with Congressman Neil Abercrombie in Honolulu. Rep. Abercrombie voted in support of the proposed the amendments.

The proposed amendments to the ESA would: • Require the federal government to use

taxpayer dollars to pay developers and corporations for complying with the ESA’s prohibition on killing or injuring

Endangered ‘ïlioholoikauaua.

Photo by Craig Rowland, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

listed species, and set no limits on these payments. This provision would quickly drain funding needed to recover endangered species. We should not pay devel- opers to follow the law.

• Place endangered species at risk whenever the federal government fails to meet a 180-day deadline for telling developers whether

their actions would harm or kill endan- gered species. If the government misses the deadline – no matter what the rea- son – developers are permanently exempted from the ESA.

• Repeal all ESA provisions that protect endangered species from the harmful impacts of pesticides. Pesticides are implicated in the decline of an array of species including sea turtles and Pacific salmon.

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