Save Hawaii’s Endangered Plants

Target: Ryan Zinke, Department of Interior Secretary

Goal: Maintain Fish and Wildlife Service funding to the Plant Extinction Prevention Program.

Hawaii is already considered the extinction capital of the world, and now new budget cuts are threatening to accelerate the pace of loss. A crucial conservation organization in the state called the Plant Extinction Prevention Program (PEPP) has had its federal funding cut by 50 percent, and upcoming cuts this year are expected to halve it again. Since humans began inhabiting the Hawaiian islands, countless species have been lost due to human degradation, and organizations like PEPP are critical to preserving the diverse species and ecosystems of Hawaii. Budget cuts have already handicapped the ability of PEPP to preserve native Hawaiian plants, and more losses could spell disaster for the organization and those species it fights to protect.

With its mission of preserving native Hawaiian plants with fewer than 50 remaining individuals in the wild, PEPP has been extraordinarily successful; before its inception, the islands were losing one plant species per year to extinction, but it has since been able to preserve every species it set out to save. Over 40 percent of threatened and endangered plant species in the U.S. are native to Hawaii, and as it is currently trying to save 238 different species from extinction, the last thing PEPP needs is a reduction in funding. President Trump has called for an 11 percent reduction to the budget of the Department of Interior, which oversees the Fish and Wildlife Service that funds PEPP, and has shown little interest in any conservation measures to protect our country’s wildlife.

The islands have already lost over 130 plant species to extinction, and as climate change, invasive species, and habitat destruction threaten Hawaii’s diversely beautiful species, it is crucial that environmentalists around the globe fight to preserve the conservation organizations protecting them. Sign this petition to demand that the Department of Interior maintain its current funding of PEPP to ensure that ignorance does not poison the biodiversity on which we depend.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Secretary Zinke,

The Hawaiian islands are a breathtaking biodiversity hotspot in the United States and serve as one of the crown jewels of our nation, but their ecosystems are increasingly under threat from climate change, invasive species, and habitat degradation. As a result, the state is known as the extinction capital of the world, and without conservation measures, the islands’ diverse ecosystems will see the loss of some of their most unique members. One organization, the Plant Extinction Prevention Program (PEPP), has been incredibly successful since its inception, saving every species it set out to save, but it is reliant on funding from the Fish and Wildlife Service, which last year cut its budget by 50 percent and is planning on doing it again in October. I write today to ask that you maintain funding for the Fish and Wildlife Service and PEPP to save some of the nation’s most beautiful, vulnerable species from otherwise certain extinction.

Hawaii has already lost over 130 species to extinction, and without the aid of PEPP, many more will be lost. With them will go the exact kind of biodiversity that makes our planet so stunning, and ensures the resilience of our ecosystems and societies. Please do what’s right and use your power to preserve funding for PEPP so that it can continue its important work of protecting our nation’s natural history and future.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: LuxTonnerre

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2 Comments

  1. Gen Lovyet Agustsson says:

    how many more to cut down? how many more animals are going extinct? stop before its too late!

  2. KEEP THE IMPORTANT FUNDS FOR THE PLANT EXTINCTION PROGRAM TO KEEP THE HAWAII PLANTS FROM EXTINCTION.

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