For Immediate Release
July 27, 1999
Contact: Robert Dewey 202-682-9400 x228 (Habitat)

Statement of Rodger Schlickeisen, President, Defenders of Wildlife, On Beginning of Senate Deliberation on Interior Appropriations

Today the Senate has taken an important step toward restoring order to a legislative process that has been rigged to serve the opponents of sound wildlife and resource conservation. By reinstating Rule 16 and subsequently deciding to remove four anti-environmental riders from the Interior Appropriations bill, I hope they are saying "no" to future stealth attacks on the environment. Defenders of Wildlife is particularly heartened to see the removal of these environmentally damaging riders, including a provision that would have prohibited the introduction of grizzly bears into Montana and Idaho. If it isnít a subterfuge, todayís action will enable the government to move forward with an unique collaborative effort by local timber, conservation, and labor interests to restore grizzly bears to the Selway-Bitteroot ecosystem in Idaho and Montana. Notwithstanding the elimination of some bad riders so far, we strongly object to numerous other anti-environmental riders that remain in the Senate Interior Appropriations bill. As consideration of the bill continues, we will work tirelessly to remove every last one of them.