Letter to President Obama regarding Wolves and the Endangered Species Act

By Rhonda Lanier · Wednesday

May 25, 2011

 Dear President Obama,

 This is a very hard letter to write. I hope it is as equally hard for you to read. I have been getting a lot of mail from you lately, asking for my help in your reelection efforts and how much you need my help in order to win a second term. This is not surprising after all the support I gave to your campaign in 2008.

 It is interesting President Obama. I have been writing to you for the last two years saying that I needed your help. No, not for me personally; you see I am very lucky in that I have a good job and good health, for which I am very, very grateful. That part of my life is just fine.

 What I have been begging and pleading for your help for over two years is to stop the slaughter of our wildlife by the very governmental agencies who are supposed to protect them (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services and the Bureau of Land Management springs to mind). As a very concerned citizen and wildlife and environmental advocate I have called the White House, and sent you emails and faxes many, many times. I never heard from you. I never even heard you respond to the issues and concerns I contacted you about. You see President Obama, wolves are one of my passions in life.

 Yes, that’s right wolves. Wolves have been in the news a lot lately. Ever since you allowed Ken Salazar and Senators Baucus and Tester to cut a backroom deal to delist Wolves from protection under the Endangered Species Act. As you are well aware, this is the very first time an endangered species was removed from protection in this manner.

On March 30, 2011 1,293 Scientists with Expertise in Biological Systems wrote to the entire Senate “to urge them to vote against any legislation that would undercut the best available science as the basis for adding or removing any particular species from the protection of the Endangered Species Act. Allowing Congress to remove or add protections for particular species would set a dangerous precedent, as the fate of every species on the endangered species list (or any candidate for that list) would then be subject to political interference.”

 Mr. President this was not just a bunch of “wolf lovers” who “just don’t have the same understanding of the wolf problem that we have” according to Max Baucus in an AP press release dated April 14, 2011. This was from almost 1,300 scientists with the expertise and education qualified to make such decisions.

 Your administration allowed this cowardly backroom deal to remain attached as a rider in a must pass spending bill in order to support Jon Tester’s bid to hold on to his seat in Montana. Was one Democratic seat worth this? The words of Section 1713 are seared into the minds of every wolf advocate in this country:

 “SEC. 1713. Before the end of the 60-day period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the Interior shall reissue the final rule published on April 2, 2009 (74 Fed. Reg. 15123 et seq.) without regard to any other provision of statute or regulation that applies to issuance of such rule. Such reissuance (including this section) shall not be subject to judicial review and shall not abrogate or otherwise have any effect on the order and judgment issued by the United States District Court for the District of Wyoming in Case Numbers 09–CV–118J and 09–CV–138J on November 18, 2010.”

 You allowed this Mr. President, after promising on the campaign trail in the 2008 election that you were going to bring back science based politics to the White House. Sir, you and your administration now have the dubious distinction of delisting wolves not once, but twice. The Republican Party was responsible for creating the Endangered Species Act, and now the Democratic Party has severely crippled and gutted the ESA for all endangered species. I simply do not see how this is something that you could be proud of.

 I have of course written to Senators Boxer and Feinstein, as they are my representatives. I have also written to Sheldon Whitehouse, John Kerry, Kirsten Gillibrand, Tom Udall, Mark Udall and Chuck Schumer, as they had the reputation of standing up for our wildlife and our environment, asking them to please be the one to draft an Amendment to reinstate the Wolf’s protection under the Endangered Species Act. So far, no one has stepped up to the plate. I would urge you in the strongest manner possible President Obama to get together with these and other Democratic leaders in the Senate and  put forth a plan to restore wolves protection under the Endangered Species Act, and to make right what has so wrongfully been done here.

Until this is done Mr. President, you will not have my support or my vote.

 This issue is not going to just fade away as I am sure you all hoped it would. On May 5, 2011, a lawsuit was filed by three conservation groups challenging the delisting rider, stating in their complaint that it “violates the U.S. Constitution because it specifically repeals a judicial decision. While Congress has the right to make and amend laws, the wolf delisting rider (Section 1713 of the budget law, PL 112-10) does not amend the Endangered Species Act — it circumvents the judicial process by ordering the reinstatement of the 2009 rule that delisted wolves.”

 There are approximately 72 million wildlife advocates Mr. President, most of whom vote. I and thousands of wolf advocates are committed to make sure this is a hot topic in the 2012 Election. Sir, we are waiting for someone to take the leadership in this so that we can all move forward and correct the sell out of the Gray Wolf, the Endangered Species Act and what we once thought the Democratic Party stood for.  As you know 2012 is just around the corner.

 Yours truly

 Rhonda Lanier

Published in: on May 27, 2011 at 4:45 am  Comments (57)  
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