Victory: Biden Admin to Restore Endangered Species Protections
In late March, we ran an alert calling on our supporters to urge the Biden administration to create a new era of animal protection. The first item on our list of urgent policies and laws we were calling to champion was the Endangered Species Act. More than 4,000 of you let the Biden administration know that we wanted it to prioritize keeping animals safe and ecosystems healthy, and now we have some good news to report.
The Biden administration has heard your collective voice, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service have announced that they will work to restore five endangered species protections that had been weakened under the Trump administration — during which 75 legislative bills were introduced to undercut the Endangered Species Act.
In particular, the Biden administration is looking to revise or rescind Trump-era rule changes that introduced economic-factors into considerations concerning species protections, left threatened species without guaranteed protections, weakened protections for critical habitats, and put restrictions on how much regulators were allowed to consider the impact of the climate crisis.
While changes to federal rules must undergo a rigorous and transparent public rulemaking process that can take months or years, this is a promising and much-needed step to protect imperiled species and preserve biodiversity. The Endangered Species Act is a bedrock environmental law that has prevented hundreds of extinctions since it was enacted in the early 1970s, and it has helped many species of plants and animals recover from the brink — and it’s needed now more than ever.
Suffice to say, the climate crisis is already upon us, as is the ongoing sixth mass species extinction event, so the time this will take is in a very real sense time we do not have to spare. This latest announcement offers hope that more species yet will get protection as the Biden administration also moves to conserve 30 percent of the nation’s land and waters by 2030.
We’ll be watching closely for updates and opportunities to act on behalf of saving wild animals and the habitats they call home.
If you’d like to help us in our efforts to protect all animals, wild and domesticated, please consider making a donation.