Donald Trump’s presidential election; conservation opportunities and challenges

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Jennifer Witherspoon, jwitherspoon@defenders.org; 202.772.0269

Following is a statement from the President and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife, Jamie Rappaport Clark, on President-elect Donald Trump’s election and the conservation opportunities and challenges ahead.

“Although we know we will not see eye-to-eye with President-elect Trump and his administration on many matters, we believe we share common interests in the protection of America’s wildlife and our great systems of public lands, which provide endless opportunities for outdoor recreation, wildlife observation, and other pursuits that all Americans value.

“We hope to work with this new presidency to recover and restore imperiled species such as grizzly bears, wolves and orcas in the Pacific Northwest; dinosaur-like pallid sturgeon, charismatic greater sage-grouse and lesser prairie-chickens in the deserts and Great Plains; red wolves, manatees and other key species on the East Coast; and jaguars, ocelots and Mexican gray wolves in the Southwest, among many other vital and amazing American wildlife species.

“In order to protect and sustain our wildlife heritage, this next administration must also conserve our spectacular and diverse public lands, encourage private conservation of habitat and support habitat connectivity. This includes proactive, “Smart from the Start” planning for renewable energy projects on public and private lands as well as for any new infrastructure legislation that may advance to avoid unnecessary conflicts with wildlife and their habitat.

“Unfortunately, attacks on the Endangered Species Act and on our public lands have been fast and furious in this current Congress, and we call on President Obama during the lame duck session to reject all anti-wildlife riders that are attached to must-pass legislation. We also call on President-elect Trump to similarly reject anti-wildlife riders during his administration.

“Defenders of Wildlife will be vigilant against attacks on the Endangered Species Act and our public lands, whether from Congress or from misguided agency action, and will look to the courts where necessary to ensure that federal officials faithfully comply with the law.

“The United States also has a leadership role to play in combatting wildlife trafficking, especially in Latin America, where we have common interests in wildlife conservation.

“There is much to be done to prevent extinction and to protect and restore our wildlife legacy for future generations. At Defenders, we stand ready to work with President Trump as we face the opportunities and challenges ahead.”

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Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With more than 1.2 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 www.defenders.org and follow us on Twitter @DefendersNews.

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