Press Release | September 26, 2023

SELC statement on Presidential veto of resolutions stripping ESA protections for northern long-eared bat, lesser prairie chicken

WASHINGTON— Today, President Joe Biden vetoed a set of resolutions meant to undo federal protections for two endangered species.

The vetoed resolutions aimed to strip Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections for the northern long-eared bat and the lesser prairie chicken. Lawmakers used the Congressional Review Act to overturn executive rulemaking, attempting to override US Fish and Wildlife Service’s authority to protect the animals.

In response, the Southern Environmental Law Center’s Wildlife Program Leader Ramona McGee released the following statement:

“We are grateful President Joe Biden vetoed these resolutions that sought to undermine the science-based expertise of the US Fish and Wildlife Service. It is disturbing to see some Members of Congress seek to prevent necessary conservation efforts in an attempt to please developers.

“Habitat destruction threatens the survival of these species. The deadly fungal infection white-nose syndrome and destruction of forest habitat has decimated northern long-eared bat populations. Bats are natural pest controllers and pollinators. Their service to the US agriculture industry alone is worth more than $3.7 billion a year. The lesser prairie chicken’s midwestern habitat has shrunk because of oil, gas, and farm development. Human intervention, in the form of Endangered Species Act protections, is necessary to conserve these species to help prevent their extinction.

“This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act. For half a century we’ve learned employing the best available science to conserve threatened species works. The ESA is credited with saving 99% of listed species from extinction. The South’s globally significant biodiversity is particularly vulnerable to irresponsible development and pollution. Undermining this successful, science-based law for political gain is very troubling.”

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Press Contacts

Terah Boyd

Communications Manager (AL/GA)

Phone: (404) 521-9900
Email: [email protected]