Keep Endangered Species From Extinction by Protecting Their Habitats

Target: Aurelia Skipwith, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Goal: Protect endangered species from extinction by widening the definition of “critical habitat.”

Habitat plays a vital role in the recovery of endangered species, yet the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) wants to reduce the lands that are protected as “critical habitats.” The new definition of the term under the Endangered Species Act would exclude habitats that are damaged, but could be restored, from protection. This would severely limit the lands that receive protection and restoration, which are needed to preserve biodiversity and endangered species.

The change in definition is clearly meant to open up land to oil drilling and fracking. If less land is protected as a critical habitat, oil companies will be free to drill there. This poses a major threat to wildlife as their current and future homes could be destroyed by drilling.

As the climate changes, so will habitats. Land that may not be an existing habitat for endangered species could become one. It makes no sense to block future lands from being protected or recovered. Many former habitats have also been destroyed, but if they are restored they could become a critical means of survival. Putting limits on which lands can be protected will only harm biodiversity.

The USFWS should be working to protect endangered species, not harm them. Creating arbitrary blocks to prevent restoration and land protection will make it harder for endangered species to recover. Sign the petition below to demand that the USFWS sticks to a definition of “critical habitat” that includes future and potential habitats of endangered species.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Ms. Skipwith,

The proposed change for the definition of “critical habitat” would severely limit which lands are protected under the Endangered Species Act. Under the new definition, damaged ecosystems would not be protected even though with restoration they could become habitats for endangered species. This change in definition protects oil companies who profit from destroying habitats, instead of endangered species who are suffering from the loss of their home.

Endangered species deserve protection much much more than oil companies. I demand that you stick to the definition of “critical habitat” that protects the future and potential habitats of endangered species.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Simpf




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