Each week, CCC will be hosting a weekly challenge. The focus will be an actionable task related to social justice, environmental sustainability, and/or civic engagement. This week’s challenge focuses on the environment and civic engagement and is a suggestion from the Hoosier Environmental Council.
Protect the Endangered Species Act
This week, U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee heard a bill to drastically weaken the Endangered Species Act (ESA) – our nation’s most effective conservation law protecting wildlife from extinction.
- The Barrasso bill (Committee Chairman Sen. John Barrasso, R-WY) undermines the ESA’s science-based species recovery efforts.
- It makes it harder to list imperiled wildlife.
- It slows down conservation efforts and throws endangered species protections on the shoulders of state agencies like Indiana’s that lack the resources to adequately handle the massive volume of needed wildlife recovery work done through the federal Endangered Species Act.
- Shockingly, with all those changes that do less, not more, to protect endangered wildlife, it could come with an additional provision that hides the entire process under a cloak of secrecy by doing away with many current tools that ensure government accountability and public involvement.
There are many negative outcomes for wildlife in Indiana, should this become law. One immediate consequence could harm beneficial insects – vital pollinators included. Indiana doesn’t have any protections for insects at the state level so they would lose their current protections, since the federal ESA is their only protection in our state!
THE CCC CHALLENGE:
Indiana’s most at-risk wildlife – like the Indiana bat, interior least tern, and the Rusty Patched bumblebee – need your help by choosing to do at least one of the following:
- If you’d like to get involved in writing letters to the editor or in other ways, please contact HEC’s Wilderness Protection Campaign Coordinator, Marianne Holland, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Please contact Senator Joe Donnelly and Senator Todd Young about this bad bill. Tell them it needs to be dead on arrival and does nothing to improve endangered wildlife protections. Encourage them not to co-author this legislation, and to oppose any attempts to weaken the Endangered Species Act.