Washington, DC

The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations’ Interior and Environment Subcommittee today released its appropriations bill for the upcoming fiscal year. The bill is riddled with an immense number of riders that severely undermine the lifesaving protections of the Endangered Species Act. It also rolls back key advances made during the Biden administration towards addressing the biodiversity and climate crises. 

“This proposal is a hatchet job of disastrous proportion that in an unprecedented scale, targets our nation’s most imperiled species and the law saving them from extinction,” said Robert Dewey, vice president of government relations for Defenders of Wildlife. “This extremely regressive proposal seems specially tailored towards hindering our nation’s ability to respond to the needs of the biodiversity and climate crises while providing free hand outs to the special interests carving up our wild places for fossil fuel extraction.”

Among the deep cuts: 

•    Cuts funding for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by $144 million which includes a 20% cut for listing new species under the Endangered Species Act.

Among the poison-pill riders, the proposal: 

•    Blocks the Biden administration’s new National Environmental Policy Act regulations. 
•    Blocks all funding for listing the greater sage-grouse and for finalizing or implementing the new range wide plans to conserve the species currently proposed by the Biden administration. 
•    Blocks all funding for protecting the lesser prairie-chicken. 
•    Blocks all funding for protecting the Northern long-eared bat. 
•    Blocks all funding for protecting the dunes sage brush lizard.
•    Delists most gray wolf populations from the Endangered Species Act. 
•    Blocks funding for protecting the wolverine. 
•    Blocks funding for reintroducing grizzly bears in the North Cascades Ecosystem.
•    Blocks funding for reintroducing grizzly bears in the Bitterroot ecosystem.  
•    Blocks funding for reintroducing bison to the Charles M. Russel National Wildlife Refuge. 
•    Blocks funds for implementing the Biden administration’s newly finalized ESA regulations. 
•    Blocks funds for the Biden administration’s new Conservation and Landscape Health rule on Bureau of Land Management lands. 
•    Finalizes a rule issued by the Trump administration to prevent certain consultations under the ESA for Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service lands.
•    Blocks funding for finalizing or implementing the Biological Integrity and Diversity Environmental Health rule for the National Wildlife Refuge System. 
•    Blocks funding for suspension of oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska. 
•    Blocks funding for conservation measures related to offshore energy leasing, exploration, development, or production intended to reduce or eliminate disturbance to the North Pacific right whale, North Atlantic right whale, or Rice’s whale.


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.


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