A mail I got from the Defenders of Wildlife, a group I support. I don’t really understand why environmentalists vote Republican. If you’re an environmentalist who votes Republican, why don’t you tell us what’s going through your head. The Republican Party is a viciously, savagely, brutally anti-environmental party, and they have been for 30 years now, since Reagan.
If you like to fish and hunt, why vote Republican? I don’t get it. Fishing and hunting depends on open, clean and wild areas for the fish and animals to live in. Republicans destroy rivers and lakes and wreck any wild land that they can find.
Now, if you’re an anti-environmentalist and vote rightwing, I respect that. You are a man of principles, and you are sticking to them. But a fisherman, a hunter, and environmentalist, who votes rightwing? You need to have your head examined.
Denham, the guy who wants to kill the restoration of the salmon run in the San Joaquin River, is my congressman. He’s as reactionary as they come; he’s more or less a Tea Partier. People don’t understand California. The Whites here (and some of the others) are very rightwing. The only liberals are on the coast. Inland, in the Central Valley, the Inland Empire, the Great Basin, the North Coast, the Sierra Nevada and the Cascades is very White and very, very rightwing. By the way, all of this slashing and cutting is being done under the rubric of deficit reduction.
The House of Representatives has left town for their summer recess, but not before unveiling a barrage of new anti-wildlife provisions in the Interior spending bill.
These provisions threaten wild Mexican gray wolves and endangered Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles with extinction and pose a significant threat of increased injury and death for gentle manatees.
We must stop them.
Some in Congress seem bound and determined to unravel basic protections for some of our most vulnerable wildlife…
* Extinct Mexican gray wolves. Republican Representative Steve Pearce (NM) has introduced an amendment to end lobo recovery efforts, essentially dooming the 50 remaining Mexican gray wolves in the wild to extinction.
* Crushed sea turtles. Republican Representative Blake Farenthold (TX) has proposed blocking efforts to reduce the speed limits on beaches where threatened and endangered sea turtles – already reeling from the effects of last year’s BP oil disaster – nest.
* Wounded manatees. Boat strikes are one of the leading causes of death for Florida’s threatened manatees, but Republican Representative Richard Nugent (FL) wants to block a Fish and Wildlife Service rule to prevent boat collisions and end the hazing of these gentle sea cows.
* Dead salmon. Representative Republican Jeff Denham (CA) has introduced an amendment to block restoration of salmon in the San Joaquin River.
* A path to extinction for lesser prairie chickens and dunes sagebrush lizards. Republican Representatives Pearce (NM) and Randy Neugebauer (TX) are fighting to prohibit vital Endangered Species Act protections for these highly vulnerable animals.
* A lawless border zone. Republican Representatives Paul Gosar (AZ) and Rob Bishop (UT) have proposed amendments that would exempt the border patrol from laws and regulations that protect imperiled wildlife and federal conservation lands like our national parks and wildlife refuges.
But that’s not all. The bill also proposes deep cuts in funding for our National Wildlife Refuges and key conservation programs to keep our imperiled wildlife and wild lands safe.