WASHINGTON (RushPRnews) 03/04/09â€“ President Obama announced today that he would undo last-minute changes made by the Bush administration to the Endangered Species Act. The changes, made in December 2008, would dramatically weaken and limit the use of the (photo left U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)landmark wildlife protection law, according to scientists and attorneys at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
Following are comments from Andrew Wetzler, director of the Natural Resources Defense Councilâ€™s Endangered Species Program.
â€œPresident Obamaâ€™s announcement will allow this landmark law to do what it was intended: protect our nationâ€™s endangered plants and animals. Reversing the Bush administrationâ€™s midnight action will restore protections for our last wild places and species. Throughout his campaign, the president committed to restoring scientific integrity to our government. Undoing the last administrationâ€™s damage to the Endangered Species Act will enable scientists to work with federal agencies and ensure that new projects do not harm threatened wildlife.â€
â€œThe designation of critical habitat is one of the most powerful and important protections that the Endangered Species Act offers to animals on the brink of extinction.â€ Andrew Wetzler
Wetzler has blogged extensively on this latest attack on one of Americaâ€™s bedrock environmental laws. His ESA blog postings are available at: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/awetzler
The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, nonprofit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has 1.2 million members and online activists, served from offices in New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Beijing.
PRODUCERS: NRDC has broadcast quality b-roll of endangered species, including wolves and polar bears, available at http://nrdc.mediaseed.tv/