Business Leaders Supporting the Endangered Species Act
The administration has enacted a series of three rollbacks to the Endangered Species Act that could severely limit our country's ability to protect plants and animals from extinction.
Please sign our Business Leaders Letter below to ask Congress to pass legislation that would overturn the administration's regulatory revisions to the Act.
Title (Director, President, etc.)
September XX, 2019
Dear Leaders McConnell, Schumer, McCarthy, and Speaker Pelosi:
As American business owners, we encourage you to strongly support the Endangered Species Act. It is more urgent than ever before that you do so. The 2019 Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) report has shown that one million species are at risk of extinction over the next few decades. This extinction crisis will cause public health and economic harm to Americans.
Yet, on August 27, 2019, the Trump Administration published three final regulatory rollbacks that drastically weaken the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) nationwide, setting back the recovery of virtually every endangered and threatened species and making it considerably harder for species to gain protections in the first place. In addition, the changes eliminate virtually all prohibitions on the take – injury, killing or harm – of newly listed threatened wildlife. The administration also rejected the clear requirement to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act and failed to take a hard look at the devastating environmental consequences of these rollbacks.
The Act has been successful in protecting the bald eagle, American alligator, Pacific salmon, humpback whale, brown pelican, as well as many other species. It also works to protect endangered species’ habitat, such as the mountains, river valleys, grasslands, wetlands, deserts, coastal beaches and other open spaces that we enjoy.
In addition to helping to prevent threatened and endangered species from extinction, the Endangered Species Act generates economic benefits. In fact, the Endangered Species Act provides national economic benefits by boosting wildlife-related tourism, such as hunting, fishing, and wildlife-watching. Numbers released in April 2017 from the Outdoor Industry Association on the size and impact of our recreational economy demonstrate the impact of the outdoors: $887 billion in consumer spending, 7.6 million jobs, $65.3 billion in federal tax revenue, and $59.2 billion in state & local tax revenue. Visitors to national parks and other public lands spend $28 billion per year on outdoor recreation, leading to more than 400,000 private and public sector jobs.
Protecting endangered species, specifically, can also be crucial for local economies. For example, in protecting endangered mussels on the Apalachicola River, we are also protecting the nursery for shrimp, crabs, and bass, and a fishery worth more than $200 million per year. And the reintroduction of the gray wolf to Yellowstone National Park in 1995 due to the Endangered Species Act has boosted revenues in local communities by $10 million annually and total benefits are expected to reach $23 million per year. In the Pacific Northwest, tourism income generated by the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whale adds a minimum of $65 to $70 million per year to the state of Washington’s economy.
In addition, states with the most listed species have achieved tremendous economic growth. California, Florida, and Hawaii have among the highest numbers of federally listed species and were ranked in 2005 as among the states with the 15 highest economic growth rates. The Act’s flexibility allows economies to thrive while protecting species at the same time.
Please support the Endangered Species Act and support legislative and administrative efforts, such as the PAW and FIN Conservation Act of 2019 H.R. 4348/ S. 2491, to reverse these harmful new rules that will weaken protections for endangered species and habitat. The Endangered Species Act stands for fundamental principles that we all believe in and we cannot allow it to be weakened at this crucial time. We owe it to our children and grandchildren to be good stewards of the environment and leave behind a legacy of protecting endangered species and the special places they call home.
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