Mass Endangered Species Act Under Attack!


We need your help to protect endangered species! A damaging bill that would destroy rare species protections through a statutory sleight of hand is up for a hearing next week. An Act relative to land taking regulations (SB1854) would gut the regulatory authority of the Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program (NHESP) by only allowing them to review development projects slated to take place in "significant habitat”. NHESP does not currently designate "significant habitat", so this change would leave NHESP virtually powerless to weigh in on development projects that threaten rare wildlife. Currently NHESP regulates "priority habitat" as a more flexible approach to endangered species protection. You may remember this bill from last session; its supporters are still just as active and will be at the State House rallying to undo the MA Endangered Species Act.

Read the 2009 Valley Advocate pieces Fighting for Habitat and Habitat: Who’s Bill Pepin? for more on this fight against the MA Endangered Species Act.

Hearing details:
Thursday, July 21, 2011
10:00 a.m.
Gardner Auditorium
State House
Boston, MA

Please consider attending the hearing and submitting testimony or writing or emailing the chairs of the Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture, Senator Marc Pacheco and Representative Anne Gobi.

If you can’t attend the hearing, let your voice be heard by submitting written testimony.
Here’s a sample message:

Dear Chair(wo)man:

I am writing in opposition to An Act relative to land taking regulations (SB 1854), heard by the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture on July 21st. This legislation would gut the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act, one of the most important and effective environmental laws in the state.  The bill undoes protections for rare species provided by the Massachusetts legislature and rolls back almost 20 years of conservation of rare plants and animals.  Our rare species such as the marbled salamander, blanding’s turtle, and short eared owl cannot afford this loss of protection. 

Thank you for your consideration.


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