27 January 2014 To make a difference, find your voice – and your Congressman’s vote Posted by: Haley McKey | 9 comments | Share: Two true conservation heroes, Representative George Miller and Representative Jim Moran, announced their retirements earlier this month. Their legacy of leadership has helped protect our nation’s land and wildlife for decades, and they will be missed by the conservation community. California Representative George Miller has worked hard to protect his state’s water resources, combat the effects of climate change, and ensure thriving wildlife populations across the nation for years to come. He has fought harmful amendments to the Endangered Species Act, and stood in direct opposition to then- Representative Richard Pombo’s attempts to severely weaken the act in 2005. And he has opposed all attempts to open the pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, truly a last bastion of wilderness in the United States, to greedy oil developers. Like Congressman Miller, Virginia Representative Jim Moran has fought tirelessly to protect the integrity of the Endangered Species Act. As senior member of the Appropriations Committee, he has also supported funding for vital wildlife programs and repeatedly fought numerous anti-environmental riders in the appropriations process. Congressman Moran has also championed the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay and protecting our nation’s waters from environmental toxins. Indeed, over the past decade, if you heard a booming, impassioned voice speaking out for conservation from the House floor, chances are it was either Rep. Miller or Rep. Moran. And what these esteemed legislators remind us is that we all need to speak up forcefully for conservation and take action, because if we don’t who will? Our representatives in Congress should represent our values with their votes. And they help decide how our government will approach our nation’s conservation issues, from endangered species to habitat to climate change. If your representative isn’t voting to protect wildlife, we urge you to reach out and make sure they understand that you value wildlife and our nation’s natural heritage and want to see it protected. Congressman Jim Moran and Congressman George Miller will leave behind a conservation record they can be proud of. And the debt we owe them for their decades of dedication cannot ever be repaid. So when was the last time you called or wrote to your representative? It’s never too late to start and it’s a right all citizens share. And soon enough, you’ll have a record of speaking up for wildlife you can be proud of as well. Haley McKey, Communications Associate Haley McKey, Communications Associate Haley's beat areas include Defenders’ Florida and Alaska offices, climate change, right whales, sea turtles and government appropriations.