september 24 , 2012
Partisan politics is running amok in Washington and our wildlife is a likely victim.
Unless Congress can come to a sensible budget agreement before the year's end, draconian cuts are set to automatically slash funding for endangered species, wildlife law enforcement, national wildlife refuges, and a host of other programs critical to wildlife conservation.
Caring for wildlife shouldn't be about politics. It's something all Americans want.
Tell Congress not to let American wildlife become the innocent victims of partisan politics.
It's called sequestration – that's Washington-speak for the federal budgetary cliff we will fall off in January 2013 if Congress fails to pass a budget with a significant debt reduction component attached to it. These automatic budget cuts will decimate the smallest slice of the federal budget, known as non-defense discretionary spending.
The risks to wildlife and their habitats are tremendous.
Here are just some of the likely consequences:
Urgent research on threats to endangered animals – like the White-nose disease that is wiping out entire colonies of bats – could be abandoned.
The listing and recovery of endangered species will be severely curtailed.
Wildlife law enforcement reductions will leave wildlife refuges vulnerable to criminal activity and will decimate anti-wildlife poaching and smuggling enforcement operations.
Many national wildlife refuges, forests and parks will be closed entirely – harming local economies that benefit from millions of visitors each year.
Many public lands' visitor centers will close, resulting in loss of education and recreation programs that benefit outdoor enthusiasts and children.
Protection for migratory birds will go unenforced.
Ironically, study after study shows the vast majority of Americans – people from all political parties – strongly support these programs.
Tell Congress to do their job, and maintain needed protections for wildlife and their habitats.
When Congress returns after the election, they must act to stop this budget disaster. Tell them they must come to an agreement that will not harm crucial wildlife conservation programs.
Thank you for speaking out for wildlife.
Vice President for Government Relations
Defenders of Wildlife
P.S. Critically endangered animals, like the polar bear, stand to lose the most if these cuts go into effect. Tell Congress to protect wildlife conservation funding today.