Sending Office: Honorable Donald S. Beyer, Jr.
Please join us in requesting that the House Appropriations Committee fully fund the endangered species functions of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the agencies responsible for implementing the Endangered
Species Act (ESA).
We are deeply concerned by the trend of underfunding ESA implementation, hampering the ability of FWS and NMFS to perform the critical task of preventing the permanent loss of species and ensuring depleted species’ recovery. Inadequate funding means risking
the ability to conserve the ecosystems upon which endangered and threatened species depend and failing to provide sufficient infrastructure to both effectively recover federally-listed species and prevent the need to list newly-depleted species. Quite simply,
continued underfunding will delay species protection, make recovery harder and more expensive, and result in more litigation.
Adequate funding and staffing are crucial to support timely decision-making based on the best scientific information and with effective public involvement. They are also crucial to minimizing the risk of litigation regarding missed deadlines. Ultimately,
full funding is necessary to protect the spectacular biological diversity we currently enjoy for many generations to come.
Don Beyer Debbie Dingell Raúl Grijalva
Member of Congress Member of Congress Member of Congress
Dear Chairman Calvert, Chairman Culberson, Ranking Member McCollum, and Ranking Member Serrano:
As you begin to consider fiscal year 2019 Interior and Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations, we urge you to support robust funding for Endangered Species Act (ESA) listing, planning and consultation, species conservation and restoration, and recovery
In enacting the Endangered Species Act of 1973, Congress recognized that imperiled species of wildlife, fish, and plants “are of esthetic, ecological, educational, historical, recreational, and scientific value to the Nation and its people.” The U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) employ, to great effect, a suite of mechanisms to carry out the law’s aim of conserving endangered and threatened species and the habitat upon which they depend. Their efforts have
successfully prevented the extinction of 99 percent of all species listed as threatened or endangered under the Act.
However, developing, coordinating, implementing, and managing all the recovery tools and partner activities in a cohesive and effective manner for species’ recovery requires significant commitment and resources. Strong funding for Ecological Services supports
FWS’s work with partners at the state and local level both to recover listed species and to conserve candidate species and their habitats so that the need for listing is reduced or even eliminated. Similarly, funding for NMFS Protected Resources Science and
Management program is crucial for the protection and recovery of imperiled marine species.
The need for increased recovery funding is evident from the nearly 400 U.S. listed species that lack recovery plans. Congressional appropriations for both recovery and consultation, already insufficient, have not kept pace with the number of listed species.
Inadequate funding not only puts at risk the recovery of threatened and endangered species and conservation of their habitats; it also impedes FWS and NMFS’s ability to apply the best scientific knowledge available in a timely review of listing decisions for
species in need of protection. If Congress does not provide the funding increases necessary for FWS and NMFS to carry out their statutory obligations, the agencies may face greater exposure to litigation. More importantly, our Nation could lose even more
of our precious wildlife heritage.
We request robust funding for ESA listing, planning and consultation, species conservation and restoration, and recovery in FY 2019. This is critical to recover and conserve our Nation’s imperiled species and ultimately protect America’s natural heritage.
e-Dear Colleague version 2.0