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July 17, 2006



Washington D.C. -- The Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund today publicly announced its endorsement of Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) in her bid to retain her seat in the Senate.

"Given the Bush administration's constant push to weaken environmental protections, it is great to have Senator Cantwell as a strong voice for conservation. She has refused to be bullied by the Republican majority in the Senate and has proven time and time again that she is willing to stand up for our natural heritage. Her lead role in the fight against drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and protecting our national forests has put her right there on the front lines fighting for our environment. That is why we have named her one of only four '2006 Wildlife Heroes' in the Senate," said Rodger Schlickeisen, president of Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund.

Sen. Cantwell has an 88 percent score in the Defenders Action Fund annual conservation report card. The report card measures the commitment of U.S. Senators and Representatives to wildlife and habitat conservation during each Congressional session. It reviews votes on key conservation issues, providing a clear assessment of how well members of Congress are doing to protect wildlife and wild lands for future generations. The report card is available at

The report card shows that Sen. Cantwell has been a stalwart champion of clean energy legislation and has consistently opposed the Bush administration's short-sighted energy policies. Most notably, she led the fight to assure protection of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge," explained Schlickeisen. 

"When the Arctic drilling language was in the Senate's defense bill, Senator Cantwell led a successful filibuster that forced the Senate leadership to pull the drilling provision from the final bill," declared Schlickeisen. "Cantwell's courage and unfailing support of the refuge is unmatched in the Senate. She is among the stalwarts who are brave enough to put protection of the Arctic Refuge above partisan politics." "Throughout her Senate career, Maria Cantwell has stood up to industry lobbyists and worked to protect our nation's wildlife treasures for future generations," concluded Schlickeisen.

For a photo of Sen. Cantwell receiving the Wildlife Hero Award visit:


The Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund provides a powerful voice in Washington to Americans who value our conservation heritage. Through grassroots lobbying, issue advocacy and political campaigns, the Action Fund champions those laws and lawmakers that protect wildlife and wild places while working against those that do them harm.

Contacts: Cindy Hoffman 202.772.3255
William Lutz 202.772.0269

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