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Science-based Species Conservation: Will Changes to Endangered Species Act Worsen the Biodiversity Crisis?

Science-based Species Conservation: Will Changes to Endangered Species Act Worsen the Biodiversity Crisis?

Location: Online
Cost: Free and Open to the Public
Presented by: AIBS

Tuesday, September 17, 2019
2:00 PM EDT
Duration: 1 hour

More than 450 scientists from around the world recently released findings showing that up to one million species may become threatened with extinction. At a time when scientists are calling for strengthened biodiversity protections, the United States is undoing provisions of the Endangered Species Act.

On August 27, 2019, the Trump Administration published three final regulatory rollbacks that drastically weaken the Endangered Species Act. The Act has successfully protected the bald eagle, American alligator, Pacific salmon, humpback whale, brown pelican, as well as many other species and their habitats-from mountain tops to coastal beaches. These new regulations change the rules governing the recovery of listed species, strip any new "threatened" species of the automatic protections they once received, and make it considerably harder for species to gain protections in the first place.

Scientists are some of the most important voices in the country about the natural world, and they must be well versed in the impacts of these rollbacks. Your input is necessary to ensure that, as a country, we are good stewards of the environment and leave behind a legacy for our children and grandchildren of protecting endangered species and the special places they call home. Please join our webinar on Tuesday, September 17 with Endangered Species Act experts to learn more about how these new rules impact species conservation in the United States.


Gabriela Chavarria, Denver Museum of Nature and Science

The Endangered Species Act
Leda Huta, Executive Director, Endangered Species Coalition

A discussion of the bipartisan background for the Endangered Species Act.

Science & the Endangered Species Act
Sylvia Fallon, Senior Director of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council

The use of science within the Endangered Species Act and how the Act has helped recover the species for which it has provided protection.

The ESA Regulations
Jason Rylander, Senior Endangered Species Counsel, Defenders of Wildlife

A presentation on the recent regulatory changes and the impacts these changes are likely to have on species conservation in the United States.

Questions and Answers

A time for webinar participants to pose questions to panelists.

Speaker Biographies

Leda Huta, Executive Director of the Endangered Species Coalition, has more than 25 years of environmental experience-managing grassroots, national, and international campaigns. At Endangered Species Coalition, she leads staff across the country in protecting imperiled wildlife, from the charismatic gray wolf to the less visible Rusty patched bumblebee. Previously, Leda was the Acting Executive Director for Finding Species, an organization that used photography to advance conservation in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Before that, she protected forests at Resource Conservation Alliance, using a "markets" strategy that partnered with university presses to shift to eco-friendly papers. Leda has worked on energy efficiency, renewable energy, environment and health, and green business issues. She has served on NGO boards and spoken at numerous conferences. Leda is a cofounder of EcoWomen, a yoga teacher, and a mom. She speaks Ukrainian and Spanish. She has a Bachelor's of Science degree in environmental science and environment and resource management from the University of Toronto and is studying environmental law at Vermont Law School.

Sylvia Fallon is the Senior Director of Wildlife at NRDC. She regularly provides scientific expertise that informs policy and regulatory decisions on endangered wildlife. She has used her training in ecology and genetics to advocate for enhanced conservation protections for species such as whitebark pine trees in the western states, wolf populations in the Northern Rockies and the Midwest, and bat populations nationwide. Before joining NRDC, Fallon was a Science and Technology Policy Fellow with the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She holds bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of California, San Diego, and a PhD from the University of Missouri, St. Louis. She is based in Washington, D.C.

Jason Rylander is the Senior Endangered Species Counsel for Defenders of Wildlife. Jason has litigated endangered species and habitat protection cases in federal courts across the country since joining Defenders of Wildlife in 2005. His cases have involved gray wolves, red wolves, grizzly bears, piping plovers, pygmy owls, red knots, and other imperiled species. He began his legal career in the Political Law Group of the law firm Perkins Coie, LLP and then served as Litigation & Policy Counsel for Community Rights Counsel (now the Constitutional Accountability Center). Previously he was the managing editor of Land Letter, a trade newsletter covering natural resources policy. Jason earned a B.A. in Government, cum laude, from Cornell University and a J.D. from the William & Mary School of Law. Jason has published numerous articles and op-eds on environmental law and policy issues.

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