Sending Office: Committee on Natural Resources – Minority Staff
Sent By:
Omar.Toro@mail.house.gov

        Request for Signature(s)

Reject anti-environmental riders in the FY19 NDAA: Join Letter to House and Senate Chairmen and Ranking Members

Current list of signers: Brown, Connolly, DeFazio, Huffman, Jackson Lee, Lujan Grisham, Demings, Speier, McEachin, Lieu, Gallego, Lowenthal, Foster, Beyer, McNerney, Tonko, Clay, Pocan, Moulton, Boyle,
Barragán, Tsongas, Soto, McCollum, Titus, Serrano, Blumenauer, Jayapal, Lewis, Schakowsky, Cohen, Pallone, Dingell, Lofgren, Rush, Lee, DeGette, Napolitano, Khanna, Watson-Coleman, Panetta, Nadler, Roybal-Allard, Payne, Crowley, DeSaulnier, Courtney, Bordallo,
Norton, Welch, Kaptur, Carbajal, Wilson, Kuster, O’Rourke, Sablan, Brownley, Larsen, Castor, Shea-Porter, Ellison, Kennedy, Kihuen, Lawrence, Gomez, McGovern, Quigley, Vela, Kilmer, Jeffries, Cartwright, Hastings, Frankel, Wasserman Schultz, Sarbanes, Higgins,
Polis, Himes, Lipinski

CLOSING COB TODAY: Friday, July 13, 2018

 

 

Dear Colleagues:

Please join Ranking Member Grijalva’s letter to the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees urging them to reject provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would have widespread, negative consequences
for the conservation of our imperiled wildlife and public lands.

Provisions included in the House bill would undermine the science-based decision-making process used to protect all wildlife, plants, and fish in danger of extinction under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by prohibiting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
from listing the greater sage-grouse and the lesser prairie chicken for at least ten years, and immediately legislatively delisting  the American burying beetle, which is currently protected under the ESA. 

An additional provision would undermine the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and would require the Department of Defense to obtain authorizations from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) every ten years—instead of the current five-year requirement—for
activities that can harm marine mammals.

These anti-environmental provisions that are entirely unrelated to military readiness and seek to undermine scientific species management. They would allow immediate and lasting damage to some of our nation’s iconic and threatened species for no discernable
strategic gain.

We encourage you to co-sign Ranking Member Grijalva’s letter to ensure these non-scientific, damaging provisions are left out of this year’s NDAA. Please Contact Omar Toro at Omar.Toro@mail.house.gov
to sign on to the letter.

 

Sincerely,

 

Raúl M. Grijalva
Ranking Member
House Committee on Natural Resources

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

July x, 2018

 

Dear Chairmen and Ranking Members:

As the House-Senate conference committee finalizes the conference report on the National Defense Authorization Act for 2019, we write to urge you to reject provisions which would have widespread, negative consequences for the conservation of our imperiled
wildlife and public lands.

The 2019 Defense Authorization bills contain numerous, controversial, anti-environmental provisions that are unrelated to military readiness.  These deceptive provisions would cause irreparable harm to our wildlife and public lands. 

Provisions included in the House bill would undermine the science-based decision-making process used to protect all wildlife, plants, and fish in danger of extinction under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by prohibiting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
from listing the greater sage-grouse and the lesser prairie chicken, even if these species are in need of federal protection to avoid extinction, for at least ten years, and immediately and permanently delisting—legislatively—the American burying beetle which
is currently protected under the ESA.  These are attacks not only on the individual species but on the ESA itself and are out of step with the American public.  A 2015 national poll found that ninety percent of American voters support this critical law.  Decisions
about how to protect species under the ESA should be based on science and made by the experts at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, not Congress.  The legislation would also prevent members of the public from challenging these decisions in court, undermining
a core value of our democracy.

An additional provision would undermine the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and would require the Department of Defense to obtain authorizations from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) every ten years—instead of the current five-year requirement—for
activities that can harm marine mammals. Congress included this 5-year authorization requirement in the MMPA to ensure that military activities that can harm marine mammals—most notably the Navy’s use of sonar and underwater explosives—do not deplete marine
mammal populations. These five-year reviews are important because NMFS works with the military, most often the Department of the Navy, to determine and establish scientifically appropriate mitigation measures based on the most up-to-date science to achieve
the “least practicable adverse impact” on the affected species. The law requires periodic reviews because marine mammals are difficult to monitor in the wild, the most current research and population counts can change frequently, and impacts from Navy activities
can be significant. During its most recent round of environmental reviews, the Navy estimated that over five years it would kill more than 250 whales and other marine mammals, cause permanent injury to another 3,000, and disrupt foraging and other vital behaviors
more than 30 million times.

Again, we urge you to stand up for laws that conserve our natural heritage for future generations by removing these attacks on wildlife from the final conference report for the NDAA.

Thank you for considering this request.

Sincerely,

 

Raúl M. Grijalva
Ranking Member
House Committee on Natural Resources

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information:Appropriations, Armed Services, Environment, Natural Resources, Science

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