A Victory for Endangered Species in the House of Representatives

manatees in floridaOn Wednesday, the House of Representatives voted to strike something called the Extinction Rider out of the Interior-EPA Appropriations bill. This was a policy rider that would have prevented the Fish and Wildlife Service from working on the listing of any endangered species.

This bill is possibly the most anti-environmental bill Congress has taken up. Well, on Wednesday it got a little less terrible.

To be sure, there are still more than 40 policy riders that will have incredibly harmful impacts to our air, lands, water, and wildlife. And the bill will starve the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Interior of resources they need to protect our environment and our natural resources for future generations.

But there is a glimmer of hope. It was nice to see in this polarized political climate that there is bipartisan agreement around the need to safeguard endangered fish and wildlife. Extinction is forever, and we take our stewardship responsibilities seriously. We owe it to future generations.

American Rivers has been a leader in endangered species protection for decades. I’m glad we’ve won this fight, but there are more to come, particularly if this bill, with its attacks on clean water and clean air becomes law, threatening not just human health but plants and animals as well.

Now is not the time to rest on our laurels.

Image: captiveark