Center for Biological Diversity

Speak Out Against "Riders" That Kill Wildlife

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Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber recently wrote to President Obama expressing serious concern over the rider on the budget bill, signed by the president, which takes wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains off the endangered species list.

Republicans controlling the House of Representatives relished the opportunity to undermine the Endangered Species Act, which protects vital habitat from the depredations of their campaign contributors' clearcutting, open-pit mining, sprawl development and other predatory interests. Democrats controlling the Senate wanted to hand Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) a victory in his pandering to home-state wolf-haters to help his 2012 re-election campaign.

The federal Endangered Species Act is critical to ensuring survival and recovery for Mexican wolves, polar bears, delta smelt and every other imperiled animal and plant species at home and throughout the nation. But this rider circumvents Endangered Species Act procedures for determining when a species is recovered and should be delisted. It disallows judicial review of the wolf delisting, thereby disabling an essential part of our system of checks and balances.

Please ask your governor to also write the president expressing dismay that wolves were delisted by congressional rider. Tell him or her that saving endangered species is too important to be subject to political machinations.

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Please take action by May 31, 2011.

Gray wolf photo courtesy Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

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