Endangered Species Act Reauthorization

WHEREAS, the Endangered Species Act of 1973 is widely regarded as this country's most significant and powerful environmental law and is our strongest legal tool for conserving biodiversity; and

WHEREAS, this Act serves as a legislative model for the protection of endangered and threatened species throughout the world; and

WHEREAS, we realize that this Act is not perfect and has some biological shortcomings, but that its intent and effectiveness in conserving biodiversity are clear; and

WHEREAS, the Congress of the United States, in authoring this Act, has already made a clear policy choice in favor of protecting declining species, even in the face of serious economic consequences; and

WHEREAS, many nations seek listing of their species under this Act as an international signal of the organism's plight; and

WHEREAS, despite great anxiety and opposition to the effects of this legislation the past twenty years have seen the American public endorse its actions with faith in the outcome; and

WHEREAS, this public confidence has been rewarded with recovery of the American alligator, Bald Eagle, and Peregrine Falcon, and the proposed delisting of the gray whale; and

WHEREAS, this statute is dynamic and interacts with state and local actions to bring about heightened national environmental awareness; and

WHEREAS, the process of interagency consultation has repeatedly enhanced needed information and pointed out information gaps to decision makers which result in citizen participation in decisions involving the public interest and our common heritage; and

WHEREAS, in response to the Act, life and physical scientists have rethought many of the premises of conservation goals to involve a wider spectrum of issues in science and public policy; and

WHEREAS, the international community has recently endorsed the concepts of biological diversity conservation so that a substantive reauthorization of the Act will allow strong participation by the United States in international biodiversity conservation programs; and

WHEREAS, the Endangered Species Act of 1973 is scheduled to expire on 1 October 1992;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The American Society of Mammalogists, meeting at The University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, 14-18 June 1992, strongly supports the rapid reauthorization of this Act in a manner that will either maintain or increase its strength and effectiveness, and we call on Congress to continue to appropriate the necessary monies to the Act to ensure its continued success, and we call on Congress and the Bush Administration to make 1992 a year of serious commitment toward the protection and restoration of our declining species worldwide.