For Immediate Release

Jamie Rappaport Clark, President and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife, issued this statement:

“Secretary Zinke’s memorandum calling for federal officials to review federal policies and defer to the states in managing fish and wildlife on federal lands stunningly ignores the national commitment, and his own Department’s responsibilities, for conservation of these resources.

“State wildlife agencies serve an essential role in managing resident species of fish and wildlife, but it is the federal government, acting on behalf of the American people as a whole, that has paramount authority for the protection and conservation of endangered and threatened species, migratory birds, and fish populations in the United States. The federal government manages the National Wildlife Refuge System, a network of federal lands expressly created to serve the national interest in wildlife conservation, and the other great systems of federal lands.

“It would be both inappropriate and illegal to ‘defer’ to the States in carrying out these primary federal responsibilities for wildlife conservation. How the Secretary could issue a memorandum on fish and wildlife conservation without mentioning the Endangered Species Act or the National Wildlife Refuge System is beyond me.

“The Trump administration has demonstrated over and over again that it only cares about oil and gas and other extractive uses on our federal lands and waters. Secretary Zinke’s memorandum confirms that fact by attempting to outsource federal responsibilities for fish and wildlife to the states.”

Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With over 1.8 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @Defenders.


Sacramento, CA

Biden Administration Halts Trump’s Last-minute Attack to Undo Desert Conservation Plan

In the 11th hour of President Trump’s term, the federal administration announced a rollback to upend key conservation protections afforded to public lands in the California Desert Conservation Area by the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) adopted by the federal government and the State of California in 2016.
St. Augustine, FL

Critically Endangered North Atlantic Right Whale Calf Killed off Florida Coast

A brand-new male North Atlantic right whale calf was discovered dead yesterday on a beach at Anastasia State Park near St. Augustine, Florida.