The ESA has been one of the most effective environmental statutes in America, with 99 percent of species listed now on the path towards recovery. Many threatened and endangered species protected by the ESA—such as the grizzly bear, grey wolf, bull trout, Canada lynx, and desert tortoise—are found within America’s National Wilderness Preservation System.
- It removes protections for any new species designated as "threatened." States could even open hunting and trapping seasons on threatened species unless explicitly prevented from doing so.
- Under the ESA, listing decisions must be based on science alone. This rule upends that. It encourages policy-makers to deny protections to wildlife and plants if industry lobbyists perceive a potential economic cost.
- It reduces the agencies’ ability to protect habitat, despite habitat loss being the leading cause of extinction.
These changes are clearly designed to ram through pipeline, road, logging, drilling, and fracking projects at the expense of threatened and endangered wildlife!
Over our 30-year history, Wilderness Watch has relied on the ESA to help protect threatened and endangered species that use Wilderness for part or all of their range. One current example is our lawsuit to stop the killing of grizzly bears at bait stations used by some hunters to lure black bears on national forest lands in Idaho and Wyoming, an unethical practice that is unbelievably still allowed within designated Wilderness in Idaho.
- Wilderness Watch