Washington, DC

In advance of a hearing by the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Wildlife and Fisheries, Defenders of Wildlife is announcing its support for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s proposed rule governing the maintenance of the National Wildlife Refuge System’s Biological Integrity, Diversity and Environmental Health (BIDEH).

“The National Wildlife Refuge System is vital to the survival of hundreds of our nation’s most imperiled species and is widely enjoyed by the American public, with more than 68 million visits each year,” said Desiree Sorenson-Groves, vice president of land and habitat conservation for Defenders of Wildlife. “In the face of the joint biodiversity and climate crises, it is imperative that we protect and enhance this incredible system and follow the best available science, and that’s what this rule would require.”

The proposed BIDEH rule and updated policy would allow FWS to develop and implement climate change adaptation strategies on refuges, many of which are already experiencing devastating impacts. 

For over 75 years, Defenders of Wildlife has remained dedicated to protecting all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With a nationwide network of nearly 2.1 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife for generations to come. To learn more, please visit https://defenders.org/newsroom or follow us on X @Defenders.


Media Contact

Communications Specialist
(202) 772-0295


A family group of southern resident orcas chasing a salmon - Image taken from an unmanned hexacopter at more than100ft - NOAA SWFSC, SR3 and the Coastal Ocean Research Institute - NMFS permit #19091 (1).jpg

Clean Water, Healthy Futures: Orca Month Targets Toxics

May 22, 2024 – Volunteers and advocates across Washington will speak out against toxic pollutants that harm orcas, salmon and people during Orca Action Month
2001 - Polar Bears - Mom and Cubs - Steven Amstrup USGS.jpg
Washington, DC

More than 200 Species Need Protection from International Commercial Trade, Defenders and Partners Tell Biden Administration

Defenders of Wildlife, together with NRDC (the Natural Resources Defense Council) and Center for Biological Diversity, today asked the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to seek a ban on commercial trade for more than 200 species of animals and plants that are threatened with extinction, including reindeer, turtles, sea otters, tarantulas, aquarium fish, sharks, frogs, orchids, trees and over 50 coral species.