US Senators' Letter
October 6, 1999
The Honorable William J. Clinton
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
In anticipation of your upcoming visit to Canada, we are writing to ask that you urge Canadian Prime Minister Chretien to move swiftly to pass legislation protecting endangered speecies and their habitat. It is particularly important that such a law protect the many endangered species that are shared between Canada and the U.S., such as salmon, grizzly bears, marbled murrelets, bull trout, and piping plovers, to name just a few.
At present, Canada has no federal endangered species legislation, and only six of its twelve provinces and territories have endangered species legislation. Recognizing that our two countries share a great many endangered species, we are concerned that Canada's lack of federal of federal endangered species legislation may be undermining the considerable recovery afforts of the U.S.
Moreover, it is noteworthy that Canadian resource industries may enjoy an unfair competitive advantage over their U.S. counterparts, who must share in the direct costs of protecting threatened and endangered species. For example, timber companies in British Columbia countinue to log crown forests with only minimal habitat protections for salmon and spotted owls. Over half of this wood is exported to the U.S., where lumber must be harvested within the framework of solid forest, water and species protection laws.
Our goverment must address those inequities and work together to address the cross-border conservation and environmental issues that will effect generations to come.
Therefore, we urge you to impress upon Canada's Prime Minister the critical nature of this issue, to support Canada's plans to introduce long-overdue endangered species legislation, and to nak him to ensure that any new bill contains habitat protections for U.S./Canada shared species on all lands. It is Imperative that Canada assume greater responsibility for protecting endangered species.
We hope that you will take advantage of this critical opportunity to work with Canada to preserve North America's rich natural heritage.
John H. Chafee,
John D. Rockefeller,
Richard H. Bryan,
John F. Kerry,
Daniel Patrick Moyminan,