Press Release | August 12, 2019

Weakening of Endangered Species Act Threatens Wild Heritage

Rule Severely Diminishes Protections for Endangered and Threatened Species

WASHINGTON – The Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) released the following statement in reaction to the administration’s attempt to dismantle the Endangered Species Act, eliminating protections for imperiled species and America’s natural heritage that have been a central part of our nation’s environmental laws for more than 45 years.

“This rule by the administration removes long-standing protections for endangered and threatened wildlife that are central to our natural heritage follows attacks on America’s wild spaces and bedrock protections for air and water,” said Ramona McGee, staff attorney for SELC. “It undermines the scientific foundation our environmental laws have been built upon, and along with other environmental rollbacks threatens natural ecosystems and communities across the country.”

The Endangered Species Act has led to successful conservation with 99 percent of species on the list saved from extinction, including iconic Southern species such as the brown pelican, West Indian Manatee and the American alligator. Integral to these successes is the protection that the law provides to natural areas and ecosystems that benefit many other forms of wildlife and local communities by providing access to cleaner water, buffers from storms and floods, and preservation of our last remaining wild spaces. The Trump administration’s plan would undermine that approach and prevent progress toward conservation of imperiled species.  


For more than 30 years, the Southern Environmental Law Center has used the power of the law to champion the environment of the Southeast. With over 80 attorneys and nine offices across the region, SELC is widely recognized as the Southeast’s foremost environmental organization and regional leader. SELC works on a full range of environmental issues to protect our natural resources and the health and well-being of all the people in our region.

Are you a reporter and would like more information? Please visit our press contact page for a full list of SELC’s press contacts.

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