We will defend the Endangered Species Act

The Endangered Species Act has been one of the most effective measures for protecting birds.

Western Snowy Plover chick
Western Snowy Plover chick. Photo: Steve Dimock

With federal legislators now openly discussing how they intend to dismantle the Endangered Species Act – easily the most important and effective environmental law ever passed – I want to make it clear that Audubon California will never, ever stop defending this law and the birds and other wildlife it protects. Please join us in this important cause.

Emboldened by anti-regulatory rhetoric coming out of Washington these days, some lawmakers want to make the Endangered Species Act friendlier to the industries that have always opposed it. But Audubon California stands with the 90% of Americans who like the law just the way it is. Signed in 1973 by a Republican president, the Endangered Species Act has been critical in bringing about the return of many birds, including the Bald Eagle and Brown Pelican – both of which would be gone today if it weren’t for this law.

This issue is particularly important here in California, which has more wildlife protected under the Endangered Species Act than any other state. This is largely due to our diverse ecology – coastlines, forests, oceans, deserts, wetlands – as well as the many challenges they face. As Californians we appreciate that natural and human diversity is what makes this place so special, and we are eager protect the natural treasures so important to California’s identity.

Here are just a few examples of how Audubon California has used the Endangered Species Act as a vital tool in our defense of birds:

  • Petitioned to list the Western Snowy Plover and Marbled Murrelet. 
  • Rallied members in support listing of the Brown Pelican, Northern Spotted Owl, Southwestern Willow Flycatcher, Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo, and many others.
  • Sponsored laws helping the endangered California Condor continue its remarkable recovery. 
  • Fought off attempts to delist the Coastal California Gnatcatcher and open vital coastal habitat to widespread development.

We intend to fight this attack on the Endangered Species Act by pulling together our growing network of Californians. We’ll pack meetings, flood mailboxes, jam phone lines, and defeat bad legislation – whatever it takes.

There are 16 California birds on the Endangered Species List, and the threat of listing is compelling the protection of many, many more. We can’t let this invaluable tool for protecting our birds slip away. Extinction is forever, and we have a debt to the future.

We will need your help. Please continue to speak loudly on behalf of birds – in your community, in California, and at the national level. You can help us most immediately by making a donation today to support our work.

Brigid McCormack is the executive director of Audubon California.

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