On August 3rd, citizens around the country are going to be participating in the Stop Extinction Challenge – reaching out to their congresspeople and urging them to protect the Endangered Species Act. If you have the time, go to your local congressional office in person, and tell them to maintain strong protections for endangered species and full funding for species recovery programs. Find out which Senator’s office is closest to you here.
If you can’t get there in person, you can also call your congressperson. A list of office locations and phone numbers for the West Virginia congressional delegation is included at the end of this post.
The Endangered Species Act is a critical environmental law responsible for saving both iconic American species like the bald eagle and local favorites like the West Virginia Northern Flying Squirrel. 99% of species listed under the Act have been saved from extinction and it enjoys wide popular support.
Unfortunately, this year has seen multiple bills and riders introduced proposing to “reform” the Act. These reforms are usually targeted at providing a lower standard of protection, and lack a basis in science. Combine that with the Trump administration’s desire to weaken enforcement of the law and make it harder to list species, and it’s a tough time for the Endangered Species Act. The Union of Concerned Scientists recently warned that the Endangered Species Act is itself endangered (source). That is why its important to remind our elected officials that the public still cares about wildlife, and that we want to see the Act protected and fully funded.
If you participate, we want to know! Get in touch, and tell us how it went.