Gray wolf cubs

Wolf cubs (Credit: Getty/JohnPitcher)

In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, one of the more heartwarming tales of survival involved two adorable manatees that were stranded when the hurricane sucked the water out of Sarasota Bay and were then saved by local residents. But having survived the hurricane, manatees — and every other species protected by the Endangered Species Act — now face a serious threat by congressional Republicans, who are hustling to use the Trump presidency as an opportunity to undermine the 43-year-old law.

This week, Republicans on the House Natural Resources Committee are moving to advance five bills that a coalition of environmental groups, including the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council, say “threaten to undermine the Endangered Species Act and the species that benefit from its protections by prioritizing politics over science and undercutting citizens’ ability to help enforce the law.”

All these bills “serve the same purpose of undermining the law, weakening the law [and] disadvantaging species conservation, all under the guise of ‘modernizing and collaborating,’” said Jamie Rappaport Clark, the CEO of Defenders of Wildlife. “But it will only make the challenge of recovering species on the brink of extinction infinitely …read more


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