Save Our Species Alliance
This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on front groups and corporate spin.
Save Our Species Alliance was a group campaigning to weaken the provisions of the Endangered Species Act. On its now defunct website , SOSA stated that it was working "to promote common sense, balanced and scientifically-supported changes to the ESA, which will update and modernize the Act to make it more efficient and effective in recovering and saving species at risk."
The Campaign Director for the Save Our Species Alliance was Tim Wigley, who was also Executive Vice President of Pac/West Communications. "Prior to joining Pac/West, Tim served as the president of the Oregon Forest Industries Council (OFIC) - a Salem-based, statewide trade association representing the interests of Oregon's forest products industry. He also served as West Coast Director of Corporate Communications for Georgia-Pacific Corporation where he managed all internal and external communications for wood products manufacturing facilities as well as the timber division," his biographical note states. 
Wigley led the group Project Protect, which supported the Healthy Forests bill and was run out of the offices of the American Forest Resource Council. Other SOSA figures include Steve Quarles, a timber industry lobbyist; supporters include the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the National Center for Public Policy Research. 
It is unclear when Save Our Species Alliance went out of business, but in a June 14, 2005 interview by TruthOut's Kelpie Wilson, Brock Evans of the Endangered Species Coalition said that he had not heard of them.
"Q: I saw a press release recently from a group called Save Our Species Alliance. The group claims that the ivory-billed woodpecker recovered all on its own with "no federal assistance of any kind." According to the group, this proves that the Endangered Species Act is ineffective and needs to be "modernized." What is your reaction to this statement and what do you know about this group?
A: This is such an ill-informed, may I say bogus, claim that it almost defies belief. As pointed out above, the ivory-billed woodpecker was found in its small bit of remaining habitat - the swamp forests of the Cache Refuge. It wasn't found and couldn't ever be found in the flat soybean fields which USED to be their forest habitat too.
Ivory-bills need special places - "habitats" - to find food, reproduce, and have shelter, just like humans and just like every other species of plant or animal on this planet. River bottom swamp forests are their required habitat, not concrete or soybean fields. If creating the federal Refuge 30+ years ago, and then protecting its habitat, isn't "government assistance" without which the woodpecker couldn't be saved, well I don't know what is!
I have never heard of the "Save Our Species Alliance" before now. It sounds like just another of the developer- or industry-funded front groups out there whose real purpose is to gut or totally repeal the Endangered Species Act. Such ersatz groups always pick a nice-sounding title, and carefully use words like "modernize," etc. But when you see their real agenda, it is not to "modernize" the ESA, but to render it ineffective and impotent so that it will not protect any more species or their habitats. Once the ESA is thus weakened, the developers who fund these groups can proceed with all kinds of habitat-destroying activities, even if the wildlife will be thus exterminated.
These groups are very careful to use environmental-sounding names and slogans because they know that the American people support better, not weaker, protections for endangered species. The Endangered Species Act is a great, very effective, and noble law as it now stands. If anything, it should be strengthened, not weakened as these front groups desire."
- "Tim Wigley", accessed March 2006.
- Paul D. Thacker, "Hidden ties: Big environmental changes backed by big industry Lobbyists and industry officials who once pushed for the president’s Healthy Forests legislation now collaborate with Rep. [Richard] Pombo to alter the Endangered Species Act", Environmental Science & Technology, March 8, 2006.